Photo: BIRN

Opposition Blames the Decrease in Pension Fund Investments on the Lack of Fund Board

The rapid moves in the Kosovo Pension Savings Fund investments during March prompted criticism from the opposition that in the absence of a board, the Pension Fund is failing to withdraw investments from declining financial markets.

The claim for large losses of funds does not stand since the Fund is dealing with a negative daily performance of 1.01 per cent and not a loss of large amounts of funds, said on Friday Finance Minister Hekuran Murati. 

Answering questions by opposition MPs in the parliamentary Commission, where he was reporting on the problems in the Kosovo Pension Savings Fund, known as Trust, he added that opposition claims do not stand. 

The Deputy of the LDK, Avdullah Hoti claimed on Tuesday that about 2.5 billion euros of pension savings invested in financial markets are at the mercy of fate and this is happening due to the absence of the board of the Trust-Pension Fund.

Trusti has been left without a board of directors since March 1st. 

Hoti added that in the absence of the board, there is no one to make a decision to withdraw the Pension Trust’s investments from declining financial markets.

The Minister of Finance, Hekuran Murati, while reporting about the situation in this institution on Friday, said that these losses are daily fluctuations that occur continuously, not a phenomenon concerning this year only; at the same time, he added it has nothing to do with the fact there is no Trust board.

“Public statements by some deputies that the Trust undergoes losses because the Minister of Finance has allegedly left this institution without a board are worrying. This does not stand, you are talking about daily fluctuations and this is totally unserious”, he stated.

“In such pension funds, fluctuations of this percentage are a regular occurence. So, this concerns a negative performance of 1.01 percent for this year. Meanwhile, according to the Trust’s report, last year it reached 5.54 percent. The performance does not depend on the board but on fluctuations in the market” – Murati further noted.

For the time being, Adrian Zalli, the managing director of the Trust, said that this month’s decline is  due to the negative returns from American banks.

“The drop was recorded in March. We still have a positive return from European banks, while we had a negative return from American banks -with one of them going bankrupt”- said Zalli.

“Performance is different every day and these last two weeks there has been greater volatility. These fluctuations have happened in the past and will happen in the future [too], as they are an integral part of the financial markets” – said Jeton Demi, spokesperson of Trust, to BIRN.

According to the Central Bank of Kosovo, the decline in value has occurred in recent months due to geopolitical developments, including the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and double-digit inflation. All these have caused price swings in the international markets.

Trust collects the funds of Kosovar contributors with employment contracts. Its amount reaches almost 2.3 billion euros.

With the laws in Kosovo, 70 per cent of the Trust’s funds is invested into international financial markets in long-term periods, in order to increase their value, while 30 percent is invested in insurances in Kosovo.

28/03/2023 - 12:05

28 March 2023 - 12:05

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