FinMin taps EPFO to invest in exchange traded fund of PSUs
“The finance ministry has approached the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to discuss the possibility of investing in the PSU- ETF,” a senior government official said.
The move comes at a time when the department of disinvestment is finalising the contours of the ETF that is likely to start operations early next fiscal.
It also coincides with the EPFO’s decision to adopt the investment pattern for pension and provident funds that was notified in 2008 as it tries to improve returns for its subscribers.
Although the 2008 investment pattern allows the EPFO to invest up to 15 per cent of the corpus in equities, the risk-averse organisation has chosen to stay away from the provision.
Instead the Central Board of Trustees of the EPFO has sought to defer the move until sufficient safeguards are in place to ensure the safety of capital and minimum assured returns for its subscribers.
It has also sought appropriate investment and accounting policies and a separate monitoring mechanism for exempt trusts.
“The ETF would consist of shares of blue chip listed PSUs. So investing in it would be less riskier than a direct exposure to individual stocks. Further, the common theme of government ownership across diversified stocks would give investors much more safety and comfort,” the official said.
An exchange traded fund
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