ASE losses impact Jordanians’ savings

AMMAN — The decline of the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) directly impacts Jordanians’ savings, as the biggest investor in the market is the Social Security Investment Fund (SSIF), holding some 20 percent (JD16 billion) of the market value.

For the second consecutive day this week, ASE index went down by 0.17 percent, closing at a rate of 1,754.94 points.

The strategic distribution of the SSIF’s investments in various vital sectors enabled it to respond to the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The strategy also contributed to enhancing the resilience of the fund, which is the investment arm of the Social Security Corporation (SSC), through maintaining and growing the value of its assets.

The fund’s investments are distributed between a number of investment portfolios; with 13 percent of investments put into monetary market tools, 58.2 percent in bonds, 3.6 percent in loans, 14.5 percent in stocks, 6.5 percent in the real estate market, and 2.6 percent invested in the tourism sector.

The SSIF’s biggest investment is in blue-chip shares, the majority of which are in the banking sector, which is considered one of the most successful sectors in terms of revenue generation and cash dividends, in addition to free share distribution.

Nevertheless, the biggest hurdle lies in weak investments and the shallow trading volume at the ASE, which amounted to JD10 million on Sunday, with 7.1 million traded shares that were conducted via 2,773 transactions.

The SSC pays pensions for 1.33 million subscribers as of the end of 2020. These pensions are covered by deductions from the salaries of working subscribers, whose annual salaries exceed JD1 billion.

The SSC does not spend the fund’s investments and profits, instead, the corporation transfers part of these revenues to back to the fund for investment and development purposes, since the revenues generated from subscribers in the workforce cover the corporation’s pension bill.

Consequently, the growth of the fund’s assets, which are estimated at JD11.2 billion, acts as an investment tool for precautionary purposes, serving as a security valve for future generations, evident in the jump of the fund’s assets from JD1.9 billion in 2003 to the current JD11.19.

An overview of the closing prices of 96 trading companies on Sunday, compared with their previous ones, shows that the share prices of 25 companies went up, while those of 41 dropped.

It is worth mentioning that the SSIF has increased its investments in real estates across various governorates, with the total value the portfolio reaching JD717 million, with a net income standing at JD497 million by the end of 2020.

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