Bahrain social insurance assets hit $8bn
Manama, July 14, 2008
The total assets of Bahrain's Social Insurance Organisation's (SIO) are now valued at BD3 billion ($8 billion), it was revealed.
The assets mark investments from both the General Organisation for Social Insurance (Gosi) and the Pension Fund Commission (PFC).
Both organisations will be merged shortly making SIO a reality, said its director general Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa.
"A consultant will be appointed to work out details of the merger," he told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"The merger will help improve the efficiency of both organisations. It will see a shift from a government culture to that of a full-fledged service organisation."
The SIO's assets that reached BD3 billion includes contributions from the public sector, the military and the private sector, said Shaikh Mohammed.
"Over the years, these contributions have been invested wisely in the most profitable sectors," he noted.
"Our investments are mainly in Bahrain, the US, Europe and Asia, in fully diversified portfolios."
"Investments are made in public equity, bonds, low-risk and high-return funds and real estate projects."
The lands owned by Gosi have appreciated significantly over the years, said Shaikh Mohammed.
"The SIO board, chaired by finance minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, is now drawing up plans to invest in attractive projects which are beneficial to the community," he added.
"Our objective is to emerge as a premium entity serving our members and providing the best possible service to the community.
"We have already invested heavily in developing our IT infrastructure."
As part of SIO's expansion plans, the first branch will be opened at Sitra Mall in October this year, Shaikh Mohammed revealed.
It will be a full-fledged branch, like the headquarters in the Diplomatic Area, offering all services, including registration and benefit payments, he added.-TradeArabia News Service