VNPF Fiji investment will get 6 per cent return

THE General Manager of Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF), Parmod Achary, says only FJD$5 million (over Vt200 million) was invested in the Unit Trust of Fiji to get a 6 per cent return.

He said keeping the same amount in any bank will only attract a return of between less than 1 percent to 1.9 per cent under a fixed term deposit.

He said this is an investment that VNPF will benefit from in terms of dividend and capital growth.

Mr Achary was replying to criticism on Facebook about VNPF money being injected into the Unit Trust of Fiji.

“People who are saying that do not understand what VNPF is doing,’’ he said.

“In the last four years we did not give any interest (to members) because of bad investments.

“With Unit Trust, where we have invested FDJ$5 million (US$2.3 million), within one month we gain FJD$28,000 (US$13,244) (around VT1 million per month).

“At this rate we are expected to get a 6 per cent return.’’

He said critics should calculate and find out for themselves whether less than 1 per cent  or 6 per cent  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,” he said.

He said the VNPF Board approved the investment in Fiji.

VNPF invested FJ$5 million and Samoa invested FJD$9 million (US$4.2 million) to come to the total of FJ$14 million (US$6.6 million), the amount that was circulated on social media.

Mr Achary said this is a diversification of investment.

The other part of the FJ$14 million was made by Samoa National Provident Fund and Unit Trust of Samoa.

He said 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 per cent, 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.’’

He said with the geographic location of Fiji, investing under Unit Trust is one way of diversifying and mitigating this concentrated risk.

He said 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.’