[ASK 2018 SUMMIT] NPS seeks regionally diversified portfolio: CEO

  • 2018-10-24

The National Pension Service (NPS) is building regionally diversified portfolios in pursuit of both profitability and stability, said its chief executive officer, while its chief investment officer picks India as a new target market for real estate investment.

“National Pension Service maintains an expansionary stance on global investment and we are building portfolios diversified by region of the world, too … ,” its chairman and CEO Sung-joo Kim said in a keynote speech for the ASK 2018 Global Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit on Oct. 23.

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The annual conference was hosted by the Korea Economic Daily in Seoul.

He added that the world’s third-largest pension scheme will ramp up global, alternative and direct investment to achieve two goals of profitability and stability.

Meanwhile, NPS’ new CIO Hyo-Joon Ahn said later on the day that the $566 billion pension fund will look to emerging Asian markets beyond the United States and Europe.

“Depending on the economic outlook of emerging Asian markets, we will expand real estate investment into emerging Asian markets such as India,” Ahn was quoted as saying in a Q&A session during a parliamentary inspection by South Korean news outlets.

His remarks were made in reply to a claim by a ruling party lawmaker that NPS’ cross-border property investment portfolio was overweight towards the US and Europe, and its real estate investments as a whole incurred a loss of 21 billion won ($18 million) over the past five years.

Asia accounts for 18% of NPS’ overseas real estate investments.

It aims to increase the proportion of global investment in aggregate to 40% by end-2023 from the current 30%.

Ahn added that currently, he put a top priority on boosting investment returns and stabilizing its organization because of  high turnovers of employees since its relocation to a small provincial city last year.

Ahn was installed as CIO of the NPS earlier this month.

<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>