Thailand's SSO makes first offshore investments

Pension fund awards $25 million mandates to Merrill Lynch and Loomis Sayles to manage its global fixed-income portfolio.

The Bt280 billion $7.4 billion Social Security Organization SSO of Thailand recently appointed two external fund managers to manage its offshore fixed-income portfolio. Merrill Lynch and Loomis Sayles have been awarded $25 million mandates to invest in global sovereign bonds through their local asset management partners, Kasikorn and One Asset Management respectively. The move follows the recent relaxation of Bank of Thailand regulations in late 2003 allowing local institutions limited exposure to global sovereign bonds.

Win Phromphaet, fund manager at SSO's investment division, says that the four-month long manager search was conducted without any assistance.

It was important for us to look at both the expertise...

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