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UPDATE 1-Malaysian pension fund EPF assets grow to value of $252 bln in 2020 | Reuters

Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) saw its investment assets grew 7.9% from a year earlier to a market value of 1.02 trillion ringgit ($252 billion) at the end of 2020, the fund said on Saturday.

At that growth rate, assets under management grew to 998 billion ringgit, said the 70-year-old government-linked pension fund.

In a statement, the fund said it achieved a record gross investment income of 60.98 billion ringgit, despite market volatility last year.

The fund said equities remain its main driver of returns while fixed income assets provided stability.

Equities, particularly foreign stocks, brought in 28.71 billion ringgit while fixed income instruments provided 25.42 billion ringgit.

“While leading stock indices lost as much as 40% in the first quarter, the EPF took the opportunity to rebalance its portfolio by acquiring shares that were fundamentally strong at attractive prices,” it said.

Recovery in global and domestic markets in the second half contributed significantly to the EPF’s investment portfolios, offering opportunities to take profits, particularly in the fourth quarter, it said.

But the fund said it took prudent measures to write down 7.71 billion ringgit of its listed equity portfolio to maintain health of its long-term investments.

Taking into account the writedown, the fund achieved a net 5.26% return on investment.

Thirty-three percent of the EPF’s investments across all asset classes were overseas as of December. $1=4.0520 ringgit Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and William Mallard

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