South Africa's National Treasury wants to make it easier for the country's retirement plans to invest in infrastructure.
The Treasury proposed amendments to Regulation 28 of the country's Pension Funds Act, which reduces excessive and concentration risk to assets and limits the extent to which plans can invest in a particular asset or asset class.
The proposed changes, which were made in response to calls for increased investment in infrastructure given the low economic growth environment in South Africa, would introduce a more precise definition of infrastructure "to enable much better data and measurement," a news release said.
Infrastructure is currently not defined as a specific investment category, unlike equities and bonds. "Consequently, current data from retirement funds does not record the exact investment in infrastructure."
Other proposals would split out hedge fund, private equity and other assets as stand-alone asset classes, rather than the current "hedge funds, private equity and any other assets not listed in this schedule" classification.
Investment limits were also defined under the proposals. Infrastructure investment across all asset categories was set at a 45% limit regarding domestic exposure, with an additional 10% limit for the rest of Africa. By issuer, the limit is 25% of total plan assets.
A collective 15% limit for private equity, hedge fund and other assets would be removed under the proposals. Private equity as a stand-alone investment would have a limit of 15%. Hedge funds and "other assets" would keep their current stand-alone investment limits, of 10% and 2.5%, respectively.
The National Treasury wants responses to the proposals by email by March 29.