Malaysia’s largest state pension fund Employees Provident Fund (EPF) said on Friday that its investment income rose 3 percent year on year to 15.16 billion ringgit (3.29 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2023.
EPF Chief Executive Officer Amir Hamzah Azizan said in a statement that despite challenges in the first quarter, marked by persistent supply-chain disruptions and elevated financial vulnerabilities, the EPF managed to sustain its consistency of performance for the quarter.
This can be attributed to continuous healthy returns recorded by global equities in the reporting period that was buoyed by expectations of a shallow recession in developed markets and rising optimism over China’s reopening, he said.
While returns have been positive so far this year, financial markets have remained volatile, he said, with geopolitical tensions and high inflation continuing to be key concerns for major markets worldwide.
In response to the situation, he said the EPF has focused its equities portfolio strategy toward resilient and fundamentally sound companies with stable dividend payout.
During the quarter under review, income from equities increased to 8.96 billion ringgit, compared to 8.75 billion ringgit recorded a year ago.
The asset class remained the top income contributor at 59 percent of the total investment income.
Meanwhile, the EPF’s overall investment assets in March 2023 grew to 1.04 trillion ringgit, of which overseas investments account for 37 percent of the total assets. (1 ringgit equals 0.22 U.S. dollars)