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South African state pension fund's assets grow at slowest pace since 2009
October 4, 2016 / 11:01 AM / a year ago

South African state pension fund's assets grow at slowest pace since 2009

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Assets managed by South Africa’s state-owned pension fund grew at their slowest pace since 2009 in the year to March 2016, its latest annual report showed on Tuesday, as a weak economy and equity markets weighed.

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which manages government employee pensions, said assets under its custody grew 2 percent to 1.85 trillion rand ($135.5 billion).

“There is no doubt that we are experiencing difficult times and the road ahead will not be easy,” Chief Executive Dan Matjila said in the report.

The PIC, which has major stakes in some of South Africa’s largest companies as well as other investments in sub-Saharan Africa, holds nearly 13 percent of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s 10.3 trillion rand market capitalisation.

The fund is well known in South Africa for its often activist stance - it has castigated companies over executive pay and has been a vocal opponent of several takeover deals, including Chile’s CFR Pharmaceuticals’ $1.2 billion takeover of local drugmaker Adcock Ingram.

$1 = 13.6500 rand Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Adrian Croft

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