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GSIS selling 4 big properties

By Gabrielle H. Binaday | Aug. 23, 2015 at 11:05pm [ manilastandardtoday.com]

State pension fund Government Service Insurance System is set to auction three or four real estate properties, a top official said.

GSIS president and general manager Robert Vergara told reporters the agency expects to prepare the three or four real estate properties for bidding “hopefully” by the last quarter.

“Once we are able to determine the updated valuations for some of these properties, we’re hoping that we will be able to schedule one bidding or auction for our properties in the fourth quarter of the year,” said Vergara.

Vergara did not identify the four real estate assets, but among the GSIS properties up for sale is the 18,500-square-meter lot being used by Metro Manila Development Authority in Barangay Ugong, Pasig City.

Another big property is the 2,429-square-meter GSIS building in Legaspi Village, Makati City.

Vergara earlier said the agency expected to raise P32 billion from the privatization of its real estate assets, representing about 6 percent of the pension fund’s investment portfolio.

Vergara said the fund would hang on to its 8,000-square-meter Bonifacio Global City property in Taguig.

GSIS has not sold any sale real estate since the start of the year, after raising about P900 million from property sale in 2014.

“We had not had a real estate sale yet this year.  I think, we’re still trying to conduct an appraisal of all our properties. I just told our property group that there’s a lot of land in the provinces. Let’s see if there are any properties there that we might consider selling,” he said.

Vergara said GSIS planned to hike its exposure to the stock market this year, despite the current market volatilities.

He said the plan is to raise the cap on equity investments to 30 percent of its total investible fund from the current l20 percent.

GSIS saw net income plunge 69 percent in the first half to P29.6 billion from P94 billion a year ago, following the reclassification of its assets.

“It’s about P64-billion drop, and that.. drop is not really a  year-on-year drop because last year we reclassified all our healthy maturity portfolio at market value so we no longer have investments,” he said.

Vergara said revenue in the first half also fell to P70 billion from P135 billion a year earlier.

“We’re sort of struggling in 2015 both with equity market having hit a high in April and ...because our drawdown from peak in April,” he said.

The agency’s claims and benefits and other expenses stood at P41.4 billion, almost the same with last year’s 41.3 billion.

As of end-June, the pension fund investible income stood at P874 billion.  Some P217 billion were allocated for loans, P409 billion for fixed income, P158 billion for equity, P31 billion for real estate and P57 billion cash.
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