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Thailand’s Government Pension Fund shifts focus from profit to risk, report says

GPF Secretary-General Songpol Chevapanyaroj says the fund is expected to deliver stronger investment returns this year
By Goh Thean Eu   
May 27, 2024

Thailand’s Government Pension Fund has shifted focus from maximising profits to creating a portfolio capable of handling risk, the Bangkok Post reports, citing Secretary-General Songpol Chevapanyaroj, the new head of the 1.2 trillion baht (US$32.7 billion) civil service pension fund.

According to Songpol, the GPF has been focused on profit maximisation over the past ten years.

“However, from now on the emphasis will be on how well the portfolio can manage risk, such as those from wars,” he is quoted as saying in the report published on May 24.

Songpol, was appointed as the GPF chief in January and officially joined the pension fund in March. He was previously president of the Deposit Protection Agency.

The GPF earned an investment return of 1.46% last year and he expects a better performance in 2024. He says the return thus far this year was 3%.

Gold currently accounts for 1% of the GPF’s portfolio and he says the pension fund is looking to raise the exposure.

"We have invested in both oil and gold since the Iran-Iraq war to hedge against risks, including those stemming from the shaky economic indicators of the US, which haven't been promising," Songpol says.

GPF spokespersons did not immediately respond to questions from Asia Asset Management.