SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS–Pension Fund Caribbean Netherlands PCN has founded the so-called Participation Company Caribbean Netherlands PMCN at the office of public notary Kenneth Arends in Bonaire. PCN wants to use the investment company for its local investments. “For strategic reasons we have chosen to set up a local investment vehicle,” according to PCN Chairman Harald Linkels. “With PMCN we can purchase buildings and other objects of interest if this fits in our local investment strategy.”
According to the PCN Chairman, the Pension Fund has been preparing local investments on the islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba for some time. For this purpose, a local investment policy was defined by the PCN Board.
“Since the inception of PCN the total capital of the pension fund has been invested abroad. PCN has no obligation to invest locally, unlike our fellow pension funds such as the General Pension Fund Curaçao APC, General Pension Fund of St. Maarten APS and the General Pension Fund of Aruba APFA,” says Linkels.
The PCN Chairman says that there are, however, several reasons why the fund also wants to invest some of its capital locally.
“We see at our sister funds on Curaçao, St. Maarten and Aruba that local investments do in fact add value to the total investment portfolio. Volatility in the international markets does not always translate itself into similar volatility when it comes to local investments.” according to Linkels. In times of international economic volatility, local investments on the islands continue to show fairly stable returns, he said.
Linkels says that PCN aims to realize local investments which on the one hand provide a good return and on the other hand are also relevant and beneficial to the islands and their populations.
“If we can realize a good return on our investments, while at the same time contributing to the economic development of the islands, where our participants live and work, that is obviously a win-win situation,” Linkels said.
Linkels promised that the pension fund will, within short, provide more information about the local investments it will be making.
Initially, no more than about eight per cent of PCN capital will be invested locally. PCN currently has about US $390 million in investments. The fund invests roughly 65 per cent of its capital in fixed income securities, such as government bonds and around 35 per cent in shares.
Last year, PCN achieved a return on investment of more than 13 per cent, which can be considered very high.