Government has dismissed reports that the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund (HSF) is without a functioning board of directors.
“The reality is, contrary to the wild speculation in the article, the vacancies created by retiring members of the board of the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund, have been filled and the requisite instruments of appointment and/or re-appointment to the board were made in May 2019.
“Further, Section 5 of the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund Act states that the board shall meet at such times and places as may be necessary or expedient for the efficient performance of its functions save that the board shall meet at least once in every two successive months,” Finance Minister Colm Imbert said in a statement.
He added that the HSF has “produced excellent results over the last 3 ? years. In 2019, the net asset value in the HSF crossed the US$6 billion mark and is now at almost US$6.1 billion. And this is notwithstanding two withdrawals from the fund totaling almost US$600 million within the last few years.”
Imbert said that the last board meeting of the fund was held last month and the HSF “is thus well within the prescribed two-month interval for meetings.”
He said in addition, “and most importantly, under Section 10 of the HSF Act, the responsibility for the management of the fund has been delegated to the Central Bank who manages the assets and other resources of the fund in accordance with the act.
“The absence of a quorum for a short while therefore cannot possibly affect the “functioning” of the fund or the investments in the fund, as this sensationalist article erroneously implies.
“In particular, the Government has not applied to the HSF for a withdrawal within the last month, nor has there been a global financial meltdown that would warrant the urgent intervention of the board,” Imbert said.
The HSF is a sovereign wealth fund that was established in March 2007. It was previously known as the Interim Revenue Stabilization Fund, which was set up in 2000.
The HSF is financed through a minimum of 60 per cent of the total excess petroleum revenues that must be deposited to the fund during a financial year.