KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) today indicated on its website that it will pay out 6.35 per cent in dividends to contributors for 2013 — the highest since 2000.
The mandatory retirement fund for private sector workers had been expected to unveil a dividend rate surpassing the 6.15 per cent for 2012 owing to its profitable investments, particularly into the property sector abroad.
According to the EPF, the pay-out amounts to RM31.2 billion going towards contributors — the highest total on record.
“With a prudent and robust investment strategy, the EPF’s performance has been consistent and stable, especially in the previous five years.
“Recently, the EPF has diversified its portfolio by expanding the scope of its asset investment to better manage market risk and generate consistent returns,” EPF chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said in a statement.
Equities continued to be the mainstay of the fund’s income, generating RM19.5 billion in revenue.
This was followed by borrowings and bonds at RM7.5 billion, which was lower than the previous year.
Most improved was revenue from property and infrastructure, which soared 87 per cent for a total of RM1.14 billion.
Last February, the EPF, the world’s sixth-largest pension fund, was reported to have acquired 12 out of 38 private hospitals owned by the Spire Healthcare Group across the United Kingdom, marking its entry into the UK’s private healthcare market.
This follows EPF’s involvement in the iconic £8 billion (RM40 billion) Battersea Power Station refurbishment project in another consortium that also included SP Setia Bhd and Sime Darby Bhd.
Previously, the EPF concentrated its investments abroad primarily on the property sector, and only recently began venturing out from the prime locations such as London.
In July, it was reported that EPF is starting a €250 million (RM1.08 billion) fund with current partner Goodman Group Pty Ltd from Australia, to buy seven industrial properties in the German cities of Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt.
Another €250 million will be spent on buying office spaces in Paris, in addition to properties in New York, sources said.
In September, EPF reported a 19.7 per cent increase year-on-year for its investment income in the second of quarter of 2013, with equities making up over 60 per cent of the total RM9.16 billion.
The highest dividend payout on record was the 8.5 per cent that the EPF registered between 1983 and 1987.
At the start of 2013, the EPF had over 13 million contributors on its books and a total of RM526.8 billion in its hands.