(Yicai) Sept. 28 -- China’s National Social Security Fund lost 5 percent on its investments last year, slightly less than global peers such as Singapore's Temasek Holdings and South Korea's National Pension Service, after the domestic stock market slumped.
The net loss was CNY138.1 billion (USD18.9 billion) in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, the National Council for Social Security Fund said in the NSSF's annual report released yesterday. After non-recurring items were deducted, it was CNY14.8 billion (USD2 billion), or 4.5 percent.
Though major Chinese stock market indexes tumbled and investor confidence was low, the NSSF took advantage of the downturn to add CNY130 billion of stocks in 2022, thereby laying the foundation for long-term returns, an NCSSF official said in a question-and-answer session posted on the fund's website.
As part of efforts to address the challenges posed by an aging population and the sustainability of social welfare programs, China’s central government set up the NSSF in 2000 to provide a long-term and stable source of funding for the country's social security system.
Despite last year’s loss, the NSSF’s portfolio beat its comparative market indexes, with the operating loss still within a tolerable range, and the fund has returned an average of 7.7 percent a year since it was set up, the report added.
The net loss was smaller than the 14.1 percent logged by the Government Petroleum Fund of Norway, the 5.8 percent to 11.9 percent by the Swedish National Pension Fund, the 8.2 percent by Korea's National Pension Fund, and the 5.1 percent by Singapore's Temasek, the official said.
Before last year, the NSSF had only suffered an annual investment loss in 2008, when the US subprime mortgage crisis broke out, and in 2018, when China-US trade frictions began to worsen, according to its own data.
Editor: Martin Kadiev