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South Africa’s GEPF Allocates $1.3 Billion to Job-Growth Funds

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May 29 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s Government Employees Pension Fund, Africa’s biggest, said it allocated 13 billion rand ($1.3 billion) to three new funds targeted at boosting employment and economic growth.

The Public Investment Corp., which manages most of the GEPF’s money, committed 5 billion rand to an environmental sustainability fund, 3 billion rand for a “priority sectors” fund and 5 billion rand for a private-equity fund, the Pretoria-based GEPF said in an e-mailed statement today. The environmental fund will invest in renewable energy and create about 3,000 jobs, while the priority sectors fund will target employment in manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and mining.

“It is prudent to invest in projects that contribute to economic growth and job creation,” John Oliphant, the GEPF’s principal officer, said in the statement.

The government’s pension fund, which manages more than 1 trillion rand, plans to invest 5 percent of its assets, or about 60 billion rand, in projects that aim to sustainably develop the country while also providing financial returns. The GEPF and the PIC also aim to invest in other African countries. Last year, the PIC invested $250 million in Togolese lender Ecobank Transnational Inc., Africa’s most geographically diverse bank.

While the new private equity fund will concentrate on medium-to-large capital buyouts and mergers and acquisitions in South Africa, the GEPF said it also wants to start an infrastructure fund and a private equity fund for the rest of Africa before the end of the year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at rbonorchis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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