After cap was lifted, NPS invested heavilyThe National Pension Service has sharply increased its stakes in major companies over the past four years on eased investment rules, a market analysis showed Wednesday.
The state-owned operator of the country’s national pension fund had stakes of 10 percent or more in 84 listed companies as of the end of September, double the number from the end of 2013, according to CEO Score.
The surge was attributed to a rule change in September 2013 that eased a ban on the pension service from holding 10 percent or more in each listed company.
The combined market value of the NPS stakes in those companies came to 32.1 trillion won ($29.5 billion) as of the end of September, up more than four times over the cited period.
In addition, the pension service owned 5 percent or more of 275 publicly-traded companies, up 24 percent from four years earlier. The value of the NPS stakes in those companies jumped 145 percent over the cited period to 116.9 trillion won.
By company, the NPS had the highest stake, 14.3 percent, in LG Hausys, Korea’s top home decor and construction parts manufacturer, followed by retail giant Shinsegae with 13.6 percent.
The pension service also owned 9.7 percent of Samsung Electronics and 10.4 percent of SK Hynix, up from stakes of less than 5 percent four years earlier.
Its stake in Hyundai Motor stood at 8.1 percent as of the end of September, up 0.55 percentage points from the end of 2013.
The NPS had 602.7 trillion won under its management at the end of August this year, making it one of the three biggest pension fund operators in the world.
Last week, the minister of welfare said the NPS would introduce a set of guidelines next year to more actively engage in corporate governance in the interests of small shareholders.