Govt Pension Fund gets ready to meet investment challenges
The Government Pension Fund plans to manage its investment portfolio actively this year to ride out the rapid changes in the economy and financial markets.Secretary-general Sopawadee Lertmanuschai said the GPF might increase its shareholdings in listed com-panies that are growing in |line with the economy. It will also expand to Asian bonds because the market is expected to continue generating good returns and public debt carries low risk.
The fund will move into alternative investments, especially infrastructure and real estate, since those products yield sustainable returns for fund members.
"We see room to grow in the stock and bond markets in Asia as foreign money continues to pour into the region, including Thailand. The capital markets should gain from the fund flows. The country will also be supported by the government's infrastructure investment and budget disbursements," she said.
Low interest rates are persuading funds to seek better returns in Asia and emerging markets including Thailand. The relaxed fiscal policies of central banks such as those |in the United States, Europe and Japan have boosted liquidity in Asia. The massive flows to Asia will push the Thai stock market to new heights, Sopawadee said.
The gold market will also benefit because investors might consider shifting from holding foreign currencies such as the US dollar, euro and yen to gold as an alternative.
For this year the GPF sees gross domestic product expanding by 5 per cent, exports rebounding and inflation warming up from higher wages. The expected rise in inflation might put upward pressure on the policy rate.