Power, mining among SSS' stock picks

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2011 03:56 PM | Updated as of Jul 08 2011 01:47 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - State-run Social Security System (SSS) plans to increase its investments in the equities market by up to P20 billion and is looking at energy and mining stocks.

SSS president and CEO Emilio de Quiros Jr. said the agency will raise its equity holdings to 30% of its entire investable funds from the current 21%. He noted SSS has roughly P286 billion investable funds.

SSS, at present, has stakes in leading telecom Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and top gold-copper producer Philex Mining Corp.

"(Energy) is a sector that we are looking at, the potential is there. It's a sector that could provide good returns for us," he said, noting the fund may buy shares in initial public offerings.

Diversifying conglomerate San Miguel Corp. said Thursday it is planning to list its energy unit, San Miguel Energy Corp., this year.

"We're examining very carefully whether we need to reallocate (investments) or increase a little. Right now, our investments are still doing well -- whether in mining, financials or telecom," de Quiros added.

SSS expects to beat its net revenue target of P16 billion this year, given the stock market's rise to a record high. Its net revenue last year was P22 billion.

De Quiros, meanwhile, said SSS is also considering increasing the contributions of its members.

SSS, the state pension fund providing benefits to private sector workers, wants to raise its contribution rate to 11% of monthly salary from the current 10%. De Quiros said contributions were last raised in 2007.

De Quiros said only 8.5 to 9 million of the 29 million SSS members are paying their contributions regularly.

He said they have a program condoning penalties to entice other members to update their payments. - With reports from Reuters and RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News