Regulatory filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reveal that the National Pension Service of South Korea acquired 282,673 Coinbase Global shares in 2023’s third quarter. This transaction, valued at approximately $20 million, marks the pension fund’s inaugural foray into the cryptocurrency sector.
World’s Third Largest Pension Fund Purchases 282,673 Shares of Coinbase Global
The National Pension Service, founded in 1988, operates as South Korea’s public pension fund and ranks as the world’s third-largest. Overseen by the National Pension Service Investment Management (NPSIM), the scheme mandates enrollment for both Korean citizens and foreign residents in Korea. A recent SEC filing disclosed that in the third quarter, the NPS invested in Coinbase Global, securing 282,673 shares at a cost of $20 million.
To date, the NPS’s investment in Coinbase (listed on Nasdaq as COIN) has appreciated by 40%, having bought shares at an average of $70.5 each. Currently, COIN’s shares are trading at $98.15 each, reflecting a significant 26% increase over the last month. It appears that the NPSIM opted for COIN shares as a comparatively lower-risk alternative to direct crypto holdings, aligning with a global trend where numerous entities invest in stocks of publicly traded firms within the burgeoning sector.
The NPS reportedly manages assets worth around $755 billion. Its performance in 2022 was varied, enduring a negative accumulated return of -79.6 trillion won ($60.17 billion), leading to an annualized return of -8.22%. Conversely, this year has been more favorable, with a positive return of 95.2 trillion won ($71.96 billion) thus far. Following the previous year’s downturn, the fund’s recent pivot to crypto sector investments might be an attempt to counterbalance the losses incurred last year.
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