NPS’ 2019 investment return at 10-yr high on equities, fixed incomes

  • 2020-02-12

The National Pension Service (NPS) reported a preliminary 11% return on investments in 2019, its best annual result in a decade, supported by double-digit returns from overseas equities and fixed incomes.

Total investment gains amounted to approximately 70 trillion won ($59 billion) in 2019, outweighing the 5.9 trillion won investment loss it logged in 2018, the pension service said on Feb. 11.

In 2018, the $613 billion pension fund returned a negative 0.92% that marked its worst annual result.

Despite the bullish performance in 2019, overseas fixed incomes underperformed the benchmark by 0.53% in terms of the Korean won as of the end of November 2019, while overseas stocks barely outperformed by 0.03%.

Alternative investments both at home and overseas returned 6.8% as of the end of November 2019, down from 11.8% for the whole year of 2018.

The annual results are subject to change, depending on the value assessment of alternative assets and exchange rates, an NPS source said.

NPS gave no further details for 2019 results.

In comparison, Korea Investment Corporatin reported a 15.39% investment return for 2019, and the Public Officials Benefit Association earned a preliminary 7.4% return.

NPS plans to balance domestic and overseas portfolios to 50:50 by 2024. At the end of November 2019, overseas investments accounted for 35%.

By Jung-hwan Hwang

jung@hankyung.com

<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>