The General Manager of Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF), Mr Parmod Achary, says only 5 million Fijian dollars (over Vt200 million) was invested in the Unit Trust of Fiji to get a 6 percent return.
Mr Achary said keeping the same amount in any bank will only attract a return of between less than 1 percent to 1.9 percent under a fixed term deposit.
He says this is an investment that VNPF will benefit from in terms of dividend and capital growth.
Mr Achary stated this after much criticisms on Facebook about VNPF money being injected into the Unit Trust of Fiji.
He told Kizzy Kalsakau from 96 Buzz FM; “People who are saying that do not understand what VNPF is doing.
“In the last four years we did not give any interest (to members) because of bad investments.
“With Unit Trust, where we have invested FJ$5 million, within one month we gain FJ$28,000 (around Vt1 million per month).
“At this rate we are expected to get a 6% return,” he said.
He says critics should calculate and find out for themselves whether less than 1% or 6% is a much better return, referring to keeping the same amount under a fixed term deposit at a bank.
“People who are saying that I invested because of my ‘wantok’, it is totally uncalled for because the money is invested on behalf of VNPF and the gain will come to VNPF members, not to me,” Achary said.
He said the VNPF Board approved the investment in Fiji.
VNPF invested FJ$5 million and Samoa invested FJ$9 million to come to the total of FJ$14 million, the amount that was circulated on social media.
Mr Achary says this is a diversification of investment.
According to Fijivillage.com, the other part of the FJ$14 million was made by Samoa National Provident Fund and Unit Trust of Samoa.
The VNPF General Manager says the fund manager in this case, Unit Trust of Fiji, is trustworthy as it started in 1978 and it has 121,000 members.
He said he wants members to benefit from such investment like what Samoa National Provident Fund is doing for its members at 10%, in terms of increasing interest for VNPF members.
“I am trying to match that, i am trying to beat Samoa.
“And if i can do this kind of investment then it can increase the returns.
“If they don’t want i can sit here, keep the money in Vanuatu, collect and put the money in the fixed deposit and concentrate our risk and the liquidity will be higher because we are collecting about Vt200 million a month,” the VNPF General Manager said.
But with the geographic location of Fiji, investing under Unit Trust is one way of diversifying and mitigating this concentrated risk, Mr Achary said.
He continued that anyone with questions regarding such investments should go to the office to ask him.
VNPF will be organizing a members forum at the end of this month and the VNPF GM is inviting members and critics to turn up for this forum. The investment comes on the heels of VNPF’s plan to launch Vanuatu’s own unit trust early next year that will be called ‘Yumi Trust’.