Namibia reduces limit on overseas investments by money managers

WINDHOEK, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Namibia will cut the percentage of funds under management that pension funds and other money managers there may invest abroad to 55 percent from 65 percent, its finance minister said on Wednesday, as it seeks to increase investment at home.

“This is in recognition of the fact that no country can rely on other countries’ resources for its own development,” Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein told a news conference.

The new rules, to be phased in over a 12-month period, will see the assets invested at home rising to 40 percent by January next year and to 45 percent by October 2018.

The main impact of the measure could be on neighbouring South Africa.

Namibia has around 110 billion Namibian dollars ($8.1 billion) invested in South Africa in the form of pension funds, long-term insurance and other investments, President Hage Geingob told an investment meeting in Johannesburg in October last year.

The new policy will affect pension funds such as Sanlam , Old Mutual and Metropolitan.

Moody’s decided in August to downgrade Namibia’s long-term senior unsecured bond and issuer rating to junk status, citing the erosion of Namibia’s fiscal strength due to sizeable fiscal imbalances and an increasing debt burden. ($1 = 13.5370 Namibian dollars) (Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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