GIPF never bailed out Govt. Schlettwein

26 Jan 2017 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 26 JAN (NAMPA) – Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein on Thursday dismissed the allegation that Government Institutions’ Pension Fund (GIPF) money was used as a bailout for Government.
Schlettwein said this during a media briefing on the budget implementation and the commencement of the Tax Incentive Programme for Arrear Recovery.
He said Government, as the guarantor of GIPF, has overseen the growth of GIPF assets over the years to become one of the well-managed pension funds on the African continent.
“The notion that we misused the GIPF fund is completely wrong. It created the impression that we have hands in the kitty of GIPF,” he said.
Schlettwein noted that the GIPF participated in the special auction between July and October 2016 and took up bills and bonds as they normally do.
An amount of N.dollars 3.6 billion worth of Treasury bills and bonds were bought by the GIPF and other domestic investors.
With assets valued at about N.dollars 90 billion, the minister said GIPF is a key market player and participates in various investment opportunities, including the Government Bond programme.
Schlettwein said the GIPF’s participation in the bond programme was completed at a market rate, which guarantees market-related returns on such investments.
GIPF has completed a foreign assets (investment) swap transaction with the Bank of Namibia (BoN) worth N.dollars 5 billion in October 2016.
This follows the call by Government for asset managers in Namibia to swap their foreign investments for local assets and assist Government in improving its liquidity position.
Schlettwein noted that a swap of Namibian Dollars from South African Rand assets, which was purely a market transaction, increased the country’s foreign currency reserves.
He said the money is held at BoN, thus there is no missing GIPF liquidity assets.