The Pula Fund was established in 1993 under the Bank of Botswana Act (CAP 55:01).
Source of funds
The Pula Fund is a long-term fund and forms part of the overall foreign exchange reserves. The accumulation of foreign exchange reserves stems from the general trend of surpluses in the balance of payments, which were based mainly on the export of diamonds.
Ownership of the Pula Fund
The Pula Fund is accounted for in the balance sheet of Bank of Botswana. Through budget surpluses, the Government has accumulated cash balances with the Bank of Botswana. The balances with the Bank of Botswana are transformed into direct government ownership of part of the Pula Fund. Currently, the Government’s share of the Pula Fund is about two-thirds, while the remainder is owned by the Bank.
Investment policy and asset allocation
The Pula Fund, being a part of the foreign exchange reserves, is exclusively invested in foreign currency denominated assets. The investment objectives are based on the maintenance of the purchasing power of the reserves and maximizing returns within acceptable risk parameters. The strategic asset allocation includes public equity and fixed income instruments in industrialized economies.
Assets under management
At the end of 2007 the Pula Fund amounted to US$6.6 billion, equivalent to 56 percent of GDP and 18 months of import cover. The Pula Fund accounted for 68 percent of the total foreign exchange reserves.
Reporting of Pula Fund activities
The financial and investment activities of the Pula Fund are reported in the financial statements of the Bank. Annual financial statements are audited by external auditors and submitted to the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, for submission to Parliament.
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