NAIROBI, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's pension industry said Thursday it plans to partner with Chinese firms in order to boost returns on investments.
Sundeep Raichura, chairman of Kenya Pension Fund Investment Consortium (KEPFIC), told Xinhua in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, that they are keen to collaborate with foreign firms that have the expertise to undertake viable infrastructure projects such as roads, rail and energy plants.
"As the Kenyan pension industry, we cannot compromise on the returns of our investments and therefore we are keen to partner with global partners including Chinese infrastructure financiers and developers," Raichura said on the sidelines of a conference on the opportunities and experiences in infrastructure and alternative investments for Kenya's pension industry.
KEPFIC is a consortium that has 24 pension schemes with a portfolio of approximately 500 billion shillings (about 4.4 billion U.S. dollars) in aggregate.
Recent provisions in investment guidelines of Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA), the pensions regulator, allow pension funds to invest up to 10 percent of their assets into infrastructure.
Nzomo Mutuku, the chief executive officer of the RBA, said that pension schemes are required to undertake due diligence before investing their funds in any assets.
While stressing that pension funds should ensure that they partner with firms that have demonstrated the capacity and track record of doing infrastructure projects in other jurisdictions, Mutuku believed that investments in infrastructure will help pension funds diversify from traditional assets classes such as government securities and equities markets. ■