INVESTMENT POLICY. Investments may be made subject to the following provisions: All investments are to be denominated in Australian dollars.

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1 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Objectives This policy sets out the guidelines and principles that need to be followed by Council officers when placing funds on investment with other institutions. Council needs to take advantage of the interest earning potential of its surplus funds while reducing its exposure to financial risk and ensuring sufficient funds are kept available to meet cash requirements. Council funds also need to be invested in accordance with its legislative and common law responsibilities. This policy also sets out reporting requirements on Council s investment portfolio. 1.2 Legislative Powers All investments shall comply with the Victorian Local Government Act 1989 (Section 143) and relevant regulations and Minister s guidelines. 1.3 Standard of Prudence All investments are to be made exercising care, diligence and skill that a prudent person of business would exercise in managing the affairs of other persons. When acting under the provisions of this policy Council staff should always maintain a professional balance of risk and return and act as a steward of Council funds. 2. APPROVED INVESTMENTS Investments may be made subject to the following provisions: 2.1 Currency All investments are to be denominated in Australian dollars. 2.2 Investment Types (Permitted by S143 of the Local Government Act) In Government securities of the Commonwealth In securities guaranteed by the Government of Victoria With an authorised deposit-taking institution With any financial institution guaranteed by the Government of Victoria On deposit with an eligible money market dealer within the meaning of the Corporations Act Any other manner approved by the Minister, including investments in managed funds and trusts which have a rating of AAm or AAf from Standards and Poor s Australian ratings. Policy - Dec 2011.doc 1 of 5

2 3. CURRENT POLICY AND PRACTICE 3.1 Current Practice At present investments have been conservatively managed in accordance with the following principles: Except as detailed below investments have been restricted to $ 1M per institution in line with the Commonwealth s government guarantee. Funds in excess of $1M have only been placed with CBA, ANZ, NAB and Westpac which all have a credit agency long term rating of A+/A1 or above, as well as their subsidiaries St George and BankWest. Total investments with each institution have been restricted to 30% of the total portfolio invested at any one time. Investment terms have been restricted to one year. Prior to the global financial crisis in 2008 funds were also placed on Floating Rates Notes (FRN), one FRN still remains with a maturity date of 23 November Current Policy In addition the current policy provides for equity linked investments with the Victorian Funds Management Corporation (VFMC) and Federal and State Government Bonds. Our current practice has been to avoid these investments due to relatively high risk (equity linked investments) and long maturity terms (government bonds). 4. DISCUSSION 4.1 Sunset of the Federal government guarantee On the 31 January 2012 the amount of the government guarantee will change from $1M to $250K per institution. It is not practical for council to place investments with a $250K value as the administrative cost associated with managing and recording a large number of individual investments will be too high. 4.2 Diversification of Risk In order for council to maintain a diverse portfolio it is important to invest with a variety of institutions. However it is important to consider risk and therefore the following limitations are to apply: Each institution that Council places funds with must have a credit agency long term rating of at least BBB+ /Baa1 or above. Total investments with individual institutions to be capped at 30% of the total investment portfolio. 4.3 Longer Term Investments Council needs avenues for longer term investments therefore it is proposed for the policy to include: Bonds issued by the Commonwealth or State Governments with a maturity of up to 5 years. Floating Rate Notes of Senior Debt with banks that have a credit agency long term rating of A+/A1 or above with a maturity of up to 5 years. Policy - Dec 2011.doc 2 of 5

3 5. PROPOSED POLICY Council will aim to maximise returns and minimise risk by adopting the following policy: For all institutions with a credit agency long term rating of lower than A+/A1 funds will be capped at $2M per institution. For all institutions with a credit agency long term rating of A+/A1 or above funds will be capped at 30% of total investment portfolio. Maximum length of investment terms to be increased from 1 year to up to 5 years and to be capped at a maximum of $5M. Floating Rate Notes (senior debt) capped at $5M in total for a maximum term of 5 years and restricted to banks that have a credit agency long term rating of A+/A1 or above. Investment in Federal & State government bonds capped at $5M per holding and limited to $10M in total for a maximum term of 5 years. Ethical investment options will be investigated and preference will be given to institutions that make meaningful contributions to the community, sustainability, have good environmental track records and are more likely to have significant operations in the health, education and social services sectors. 6. CASH MANAGEMENT Given the relatively small sum of investments under management, there is a need for Council to maintain efficiency by investing marketable parcels in various securities. Generally speaking the minimum amounts for investment in liquid assets should be in the order of $1M to $3M. This will reduce the administrative costs associated with managing and recording large numbers of transactions. 7. BENCHMARKING Benchmarking establishes goals for the objective measurement of performance. Appropriate measures for the Council need to take into account the relatively conservative investment policy. The following benchmark has been set: For any period measured, funds invested should have a return that is 0.50% above the official bank rate that is set by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). This is to be reported to Council on a quarterly basis. The benchmark return has been increased by 0.25% to reflect the increased competition between financial institutions for funds. Policy - Dec 2011.doc 3 of 5

4 8. MAXIMISING RETURNS 8.1 Money to be invested The general bank account balance of Council is to be kept at a sufficient level to meet Council s immediate cash flow requirements, with any surplus funds being applied to reducing debt or placed on investment. Funds available for investment will be determined following a review of expected future cash flows. Timing of investment maturities will also be taken into account. 8.2 Money to be transferred using the General Bank Account Funds may be transferred electronically or via cheque and will be authorised by two officers who have delegation to approve transfers from the general bank account. Interest earned on investments being rolled over must be redeemed to Council s general bank account at the time of maturity. The Financial Accountant who has delegated authority to place funds on Council s behalf shall not be an authorised signatory on Council s general bank account. All funds that are being redeemed, or interest being paid, must be directly credited to Council s general bank account. After ensuring all directions detailed in this policy have been met, the quote, which delivers the best value to Council, shall be successful and appropriately authorised by the Chief Financial Officer. 9. REPORTING TO COUNCIL A quarterly report should be submitted to Council that records the nature of the investments under management and their returns. The report should also confirm that investment limits for particular instruments have been adhered to. Any breach of the investment limits should be notified to the CEO within 24 hours of the breach being detected. In addition the following need to be noted: A register of investments will be maintained together with an investment file containing all letters of advice from financial institutions. Investments will be bought to account and valued at fair value plus transaction costs directly related to the acquisition of the financial asset in accordance with IFRS. Interest revenue will be recognised as it is earned. Annual averages are to be calculated by using the weighted average of end of month balances. Any variations to this policy are to be reported to the Audit Committee within 60 days. Policy - Dec 2011.doc 4 of 5

5 10. REVIEW OF POLICY This policy has a one year sunset clause that will require it to be reviewed and issued to the Audit Committee for comment annually. The deadline for the next review is December LONG TERM CREDIT RATING EQUIVALENTS The table below sets out the long term credit rating equivalents provided by the major international credit rating agencies. This table also shows the current credit ratings of banks, financial institutions and the Commonwealth and State governments of Australia. Long Term Ratings Standard & Poors Moody's Fitch Banks/Institutions/Govts AAA to A+ Capped at 30% of Total Investment Portfolio AAA Aaa AAA AA+ Aa1 AA+ AA Aa2 AA AA- Aa3 AA- A+ A1 A+ State Government of NSW, State Government of SA, State Government of Victoria, State Government of WA, Government of ACT, Commonwealth Government of Australia. State Government of QLD, State Government of Tasmania. Rabobank. NAB, ANZ, CBA, Westpac, BankWest, Bank of Melbourne. Suncorp-Metway. A to BBB+ Capped at $2M per Institution A A2 A A- A3 A- BBB+ Baa1 BBB+ AMP, ING, Macquarie Bank. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Citigroup. Arab Bank Australia, Teachers Credit Union. BBB to BBB- Does not meet investment criteria BBB Macquarie Group, Bank of Queensland, IMB, Members Equity, Credit Union Australia. BBB- Policy - Dec 2011.doc 5 of 5

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