Malaysia’s state pension fund, the Employee Provident Fund (EPF), announced on Tuesday that it has posted a total investment income of 33.19 billion ringgit (7.16 billion U.S. dollars) for the first half of the year ended on June 30.
The EPF said in a statement that the first half total investment income rose 39.75 percent year on year as compared to the 23.75 billion ringgit recorded a year ago.
As for the second quarter, the group’s total investment income increased to 18.03 billion ringgit from 8.98 billion ringgit a year ago.
Equity investments continued to be the main contributor of income for the second quarter at 9.6 billion ringgit.
Amir Hamzah Azizan, EPF’s chief executive officer, said the EPF’s agility and adaptability in its investment strategy paved the way for the investment managers to take advantage and capitalize on the market rally, which contributed to the higher return from equities during the period.
Despite the encouraging first half economic data, the EPF said it remains cautious about global economic growth, which is expected to continue to face persistent challenges in the second half of 2023, as the effects of past monetary tightening, more restrictive credit conditions, and softening labor markets further test the resilience of global economic activity.
It said that equity and bond markets will continue to remain fairly volatile given the varying expectations of the timing of the end of the hiking cycles by central banks, recession risks, policy uncertainty and geopolitical tensions.
“The EPF continues to align its strategies with changing market dynamics and capture prospects suitable with its risk profile and split under its strategic asset allocation that has been key to driving sustainable growth while remaining resilient against turbulent market conditions,” said Amir Hamzah. (1 ringgit equals 0.22 U.S. dollar)