State-run pension scheme, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), has offered a glimpse into the lucrative property market after revealing the value of several iconic buildings it owns around Nairobi.
Top on the list is the NSSF Complex valued at Sh8.1 billion, comprising blocks A, B, C and a parking silo on Nairobi’s Bishop Road.
The fund puts the value of Bruce House, which hosts its city centre branch at Sh2.7 billion while the iconic View Park Towers’ price tag is Sh2.3 billion.
Hazina Trade Centre, which hosts Nakumatt Lifestyle, is valued at Sh3 billion, according to NSSF financial statements for the year ended June 2016.
Works to build an additional 36 floors to the existing three-floor Hazina Trade Centre stalled in September 2014 after Nakumatt Supermarket, the anchor tenant, was granted court orders stopping construction of the tower.
Real estate has for long been seen as a safe investment bet, making it among popular cash-generating options for investors in the local economy.
NSSF has in the past announced plans to divest from View Park Towers and Hazina Centre through sales but it has not been successful due to a lack of offers that matched its valuation.
The fund values Hazina Towers, yet another of its property in Nairobi, at Sh1.3 billion. In total NSSF holds Sh29.7 billion worth of property, developed and undeveloped like land, accounting for 17 per cent of its total net assets of Sh172 billion.
This falls in line with the pension industry regulations that cap real-estate holdings at 30 per cent of total investment portfolio.
Other NSSF city properties are Hazina Shopping complex (Sh180 million), Hazina School (Sh90 million) and the Sh37 million for Hazina Multi-purpose Hall.
Outside Nairobi, the fund holds SSH Mombasa building with a price tag of Sh1.4 billion.
The value of the fund’s developed property grew by Sh600 million in the past year to Sh19.9 billion.
It doubled the interest payable on retirement savings for the year ended June 2016 despite reporting a drop in net investment income.