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China's Social Security Fund Totals 211.7 Bln Yuan

The National Council for Social Security Fund said Tuesday the total assets of China's Social Security Fund (SSF) totaled 211.78 billion yuan (about US$26.5 billion) at the end of 2005. 

The figure represents a year-on-year increase of 23.9 percent over 170.9 billion yuan (US$20.8 billion) at the end of 2004.

Xiang Huaicheng, chairman of the council, 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.

The increased sum of the pension assets include budgetary funding from the central government, returns on investment, and revenues from the sale of shares in state-owned enterprises listed overseas.

On its investment strategies for this year, Xiang said that the total capital available for investment this year will be approximately 41 billion yuan (US$5,113 million), and 3 billion yuan (US$374 million) to 5 billion yuan (US$623 million) out of the resources will be used to invest in the stock markets and some 4 billion yuan (US$499 million) to 6 billion (US$748 million) will be invested in products with fixed returns.

The central government is expected to publish provisions governing overseas investment by the fund in two weeks.

The fund has opened an investment account in Hong Kong, he added.

The chairman said that total realized revenues of the fund reached 5.285 billion yuan (US$659 million) in 2005 with an investment yield rate of 3.12 percent.

Xiang acknowledged that 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.

(Xinhua News Agency March 29, 2006)

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