The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has invested a total of RM4.86 billion in 192 small and medium capitalised stocks in Malaysia through both its internal and external fund managers. NST file picture.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has invested a total of RM4.86 billion in 192 small and medium capitalised stocks in Malaysia through both its internal and external fund managers.

Malaysia’s premier retirement savings fund said the equities portfolio remains the largest contributor to its income. 

As at end December 2017, the investment portfolio saw an eight per cent increase to RM334.23 billion from RM309.48 billion in 2016.

EPF noted the contribution was attributed to the country’s positive growth and indicated by the performance of the stock market index, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) last Thursday, which reached an all-time high in the country’s economic history.

Its chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said EPF was constantly open to new investment opportunities that can provide sustainable and long-term incomes.

“Our strong investment performance was largely driven by our investments in equities. We have been investing in stocks across various sectors, which include small and medium-cap companies,” he said in a statement. 

As at end 2017, Shahril said EPF has invested in 192 small and medium-cap companies and the fund was committed to find more good companies to add to its existing portfolio.

Shahril said the EPF would constantly monitor and assess the performance of the country’s small and medium-cap companies to see if they are suitable for investment and fit the retirement fund’s risk return profile. 

Among the qualities that the EPF would look for in such companies include good governance, cost structure and sound business performance.

“The EPF has been doing co-investments with the small and medium-cap companies to help their growth as we see future potential in them, which should also help to spur economic growth and boost EPF’s investment income,” he added.

In the recently tabled EPF Annual Report 2017, the EPF’s total gross investment income as at 31 December 2017 was RM53.14 billion and total investment asset RM791.48 billion with return on investment (ROI) of 7.30 per cent.