Yesterday’s MOU signing between VNPF and UNELCO Engie on the 9% additional shares. Photo: Kizzy Kalsakau

The Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) has purchased an additional 9% shares from UNELCO Engie, increasing its total shares from 40% to 49%. 

In 2018, VNPF increased its shares from 14.40% to 40%. At the end of last year, VNPF got a return of almost Vt100 million dividend.

General Manager (GM) of VNPF, Parmod Achary, applauded the company for allowing VNPF to purchase the recent shares at a similar price, which is over Vt300 million. Each of the shares are worth almost Vt5,000.

With the recent shares, VNPF is expecting a dividend of over Vt100 million, the GM conveyed. UNELCO Engie pays dividends on an annual basis. 

GM Achary said VNPF has decided to buy additional shares to increase more capital as the company is performing well. 

"The only infrastructure investment that is producing positive return is UNELCO. Half of the 1% interest for member's savings announced recently was covered by the returns we gained from our shares in UNELCO," he said.

"The fund has approved in its new policy guideline that it will concentrate more on infrastructure investment such as in telecommunication infrastructure, water, electricity and cables.

"We (VNPF) asked UNELCO to sell us more shares, which they did. By purchasing shares in UNELCO, it is also supporting members to ensure they have decent water and electricity."

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UNELCO, Yves Morault, said they (the company) are proud to give back to the community.

"We are happy to give back the profit we are making as a local business. We are comfortable with issuing 49% shares to VNPF for the members’ retirement benefits," he said.

The decision to boost the shares was approved by the VNPF Board and formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between UNELCO and VNPF yesterday (Thursday).

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