Malaysia's Employees Provident Fund reported a 1.8% drop in investment assets to 981.7 billion ringgit ($236.5 billion) over the three months ended March 31, amid continued early withdrawals by employees hurt by Malaysia's pandemic-stricken economy.
For the quarter, the Kuala Lumpur-based EPF reported 19.3 billion ringgit of gross investment income, which Amir Hamzah Azizan, the national defined contribution retirement system's new CEO, in a news release termed a "solid performance" in a stubbornly challenging environment.
But working against those gains, early withdrawals — allowed last year in recognition of "the challenges faced by members during the pandemic" — came to more than 70 billion ringgit over the past year or so, the news release said.
The fund's equity weighting — at 44% of the portfolio — accounted for 14.3 billion ringgit of gross investment returns, or 74% of the total, followed by fixed income, at 46% of the portfolio, with 3.9 billion ringgit or 20% of total gross income.
Money market instruments came to 6% of the portfolio, contributing 380 million ringgit or 2% of gross investment income. Real estate and infrastructure, meanwhile, accounted for 4% of the portfolio and 710 million in gross investment income, or 4% of the total.
As of March 31, overseas assets accounted for 36% of the portfolio, up from 33% at the end of 2020.