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All foreign investments subjected to stringent risk assessment, says EPF

ALL foreign investment opportunities are analysed to ensure the risk-return tradeoff fits the requirements of a retirement savings fund, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) said today.

This came following yesterday’s announcement that the EPF will invest an additional US$3 billion (RM12.6 billion) to US$4 billion on infrastructure redevelopment in the United States. Prime Minister Najib Razak made the announcement at a meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House.

“We have the Employees Provident Fund, which is a major pension fund in Malaysia. They’ve got quite a big sum of capital to be exported. They have invested close to US$7 billion, in terms of equity, in the United States. 

“And they intend to invest three to four additional billion dollars to support your infrastructure redevelopment in the United States,” Najib told Trump at the meeting.

In a statement this evening, the EPF said it scrutinises foreign investment opportunities before making an investment decision, in line with its long term overseas diversification programme.

“The US is one of the key markets within the EPF’s investment universe given its size and depth,” the EPF said.

EPF said its overseas investment accounted for 29% of its total investment assets and contributed 37% to the total investment income as of the first quarter of 2017.

“As a retirement fund, the EPF ensures that every investment proposal goes through a stringent risk assessment and robust due diligence process to protect the interests of its 14 million members,” the savings fund added.

Opposition leaders, however, questioned why Malaysia was intent on helping the US economy when Malaysians faced rising living costs with fewer foreign investments.

Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali expressed shock over Najib’s announcement, adding that money held by the EPF was money held in trust for the rakyat and could not be used indiscriminately. – September 13, 2017.

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