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China Social Security Fund Announces Total Assets

The National Council for Social Security Fund announced Monday the total assets of China's Social Security Fund (SSF), which totaled 170.8 billion yuan (US$20.8 billion) at the end of 2004.
Xiang Huaicheng, chairman of the council, said that 75 percent of the total the assets include 114.9 billion yuan (US$14 billion) in funding from the central government. The fund increased by 38.3 billion yuan (US$4.67 billion) year-on-year.
The pension assets include 26.1 billion yuan (US$3.18 billion) in revenue from the sale of shares in state-owned enterprises. This accounts for about 17 percent of the total.
The assets also includes 12.9 billion yuan (US$1.57 billion) in revenue from lottery sales, about 8 percent of the total.
The total assets include investment as banking deposits (66.7 billion yuan, or US$8.13 billion), bond investment (74.4 billion yuan, or US$9.07 billion), equity investment (11.3billion yuan, or US$1.37 billion), and stock market investment (18.4 billion yuan, or US$2.24 billion).
The chairman said total realized revenues of the fund reached 4.27 billion yuan (US$520 million) in 2004 with an investment yield rate of 3.1 percent, up 0.39 percent over the previous year.
On its investment strategies for this year, Xiang said the council will work to improve its investment returns while giving top priority to risk control.
"Our risk control policy remains unchanged, that is there will be no net investment losses in each of the coming five years while striving to raise investment returns," said Xiang.
The ratio of stock market investment to total assets, which stood at 11 percent, was raised to about 15 percent for this year. The ratio will increase to about 20 percent if the fund council was approved later this year to investment overseas by the central government, said the chairman.
Total capital available for investment this year will be at least 51.4 billion yuan (US$6.26 billion), and up to 17.8 billion yuan (US$2.17 billion) will be used to invest in the stock markets and some 26 billion yuan (US$3.17 billion) will be invested in products with fixed returns, he said.
The fund was created in 2000 as part of China's effort to build up a national social security network to cope with the growing needs of its ageing population.

(Xinhua News Agency March 29, 2005)

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