US pension giant backs Jordan investment

24 February 2003
The California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers), the largest public pension fund in the US, has upgraded Jordan to investment level on the recommendation of US investment management firm Wilshire Associates. The kingdom will join Calpers' emerging markets portfolio, which comprises some $1,600 million divided between 15 countries. A spokesman said the fund had not yet allocated specific investment levels for Jordan.

Despite criticising the high cost of securities transactions in Jordan, Wilshire in its recommendation pointed to high levels of market liquidity and 'capital market openness -which to foreign investment is a critical barometer of a government's commitment to free market policies'. Jordan is engaged in a major privatisation programme which is expected to raise more than $1,500 million over the next few years, according to a recent study by the Export & Finance Bank (EFB - MEED 14:2:03).

Receipts from previous sales - including the JD 468 million ($659 million) generated from the sale of Jordan Telecomin 2000 - have helped to bolster foreign currency reserves. However, Ministry of Finance figures indicate that as much as JD 300 million ($423 million) of privatisation proceeds were channelled into debt swaps, development projects and low-interest loans to the under-privileged last year.

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.

Get Notifications