Capital Markets

NSSF loses Sh7 billion to bear run at stock market

The NSSF building in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
The NSSF building in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) took a hit of Sh7.1 billion on the value of its listed equities holdings in the year to June 2016 due to the bear run that gripped the market in that period, latest regulatory filings by the fund show.

The State-owned pensions fund has reported in a gazette notice dated September 22 that the value of its share holdings fell to Sh49.9 billion from Sh57.04 billion in June 2015.

The NSE was in a bear run between March 2015 and March this year, shaving billions off share valuations across the market.

As a result, the return on investment for pensioners also dipped as both capital gains and dividend earnings shrunk in the period.

“Return on investment decreased from Sh10.7 billion in 2015 to Sh1 billion in 2016.

‘‘The decrease was mainly caused by a decline in fair value loss in net investment income from valuation of quoted stocks at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE),” said NSSF in the gazette notice.

The market has however slowly recovered since June last year, meaning that the value of the pension body’s portfolio is likely to grow this year along with the return on investment.

The largest investment in June 2016 in terms of number of shares held was on the Safaricom stock, where the NSSF held 320.2 million shares valued at Sh5.7 billion at the time.

In June 2015, the fund held 296.9 million Safaricom #ticker:SCOM shares, valued at Sh4.9 billion. Other large holdings included Kenya Commercial Bank #ticker:KCB, National Bank of Kenya #ticker:NBK, Barclays Bank #ticker:BBK and Britam #ticker:BRIT.

The fund held 185.9 million KCB shares valued at Sh6.3 billion, while the NBK holding amounted to 148 million shares valued at Sh1.4 billion.

The fund held 165.6 million Barclays shares and 116.2 million Britam shares, valued at Sh1.6 billion and Sh1.7 billion respectively as at June 30, 2016. NSSF also held 56.9 million shares in Bamburi #ticker:BAMB valued at Sh9.7 billion due to the high nominal price of the cement stock.

The fund held 88.42 million Equity Bank #ticker:EQTY shares valued at Sh3.4 billion, with the number of shares increasing from 38.6 million in 2015 due to the purchase of part of the stake formerly held by PE fund Helios.