The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) has set its sight on investing a whopping $80 Million in the vastly growing mining sector as it continues refocusing its investment portfolio targeting performing assets and strategic national projects.
The Authority has an impressive and expansive investment portfolio, which includes financial services, property, manufacturing, infrastructure and agriculture.
NSSA General Manager, Liz Chitiga said the pension fund is considering mining investments worth $80 million in precious metals gold and platinum, the nascent lithium sector and coal.
“We are looking at opportunities across the entire mining value chain including extraction, value addition and beneficiation, in line with Government policy, and development of downstream industries.
“With its foreign currency earning potential and employment generation capacity, the mining sector is a compelling case for us to consider. The long-term gestation period for mining projects is also in sync with the pension fund liabilities for the Authority,” said Chitiga.
With existing equity holdings in Bindura Nickel Corporation and Hwange Colliery Company, NSSA is looking to expand its footprints in the emergent sector, which is seen driving long-term economic growth.
The authority recently upped its stake in the Cold Storage Company to 80%, with a view to restoring the erstwhile fresh meet exporter to its former glory and anchor for the livestock value chain.
NSSA is reaping the dividends of portfolio restructuring instituted by the current Board, which was appointed in October 2015.
The strategy has resulted in 119 percent growth in investment income, from $22,755,000 when the current Board took over to $49,861,000 in 2017.
Total investment assets increased by 93 percent up from $619 million to $1,297 billion during the same period.
Despite the turnaround, the Authority is still haunted by a string of delinquent investments made prior to 2015, which were unearthed in an adverse forensic audit that was initiated by the current Board.
“From the onset, the current Board and Management wanted to establish the full extent of the historical losses and that’s why the forensic audit was undertaken,” Chitiga said.
“The failures are well documented and continue to be widely reported but they are in the past, behind us. Going forward we should be judged by the performance we have achieved since we came into office,” added Chitiga.
Pensioners have been direct beneficiaries of the improved performance with the authority increasing the minimum pension payout going up to $80 and a 2017 13th cheque paid to all pensioners for the first time ever.