Trust books healthy rate
$48 million returned to beneficiaries

Malcolm Gorrill
Northern News Services

Iqaluit ( May 22/00) - The Nunavut Trust enjoyed one of its best performances in 1999.

The trust, which had a rate of return of 17.1 per cent last year, was formed as part of the 1993 Nunavut Land Claim agreement.

"We're very, very pleased," said Andy Campbell, chief executive officer of the Nunavut Trust.

The trust is responsible for managing the money paid to Inuit by the Government of Canada. That money, which will total more than $1 billion by 2007, is being paid in instalments.

"There were actually some advances made prior to the signing of the agreement, but on the date the agreement was signed, we received a payment of $79 million," Campbell said.

He added the best rate of return was 17.2 per cent in '98. Last year's return put the Nunavut Trust among the top quarter of all investment funds in Canada.

"Over the four-year period ended Dec. 31, 1999, our average annual return was 16.7 per cent," he said.

"The money we're turning over to the beneficiaries is well-above the expected amount forecasted in (Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.'s) 15-year plan."

The projected amount was $19.4 million, but the trust returned about $48.5 million to its beneficiaries this past year.

The trust provided slightly more than $20 million for NTI's 2000-01 budget, and $20 million for the Nunavut Economic Development Trust.

The balance will go to the various beneficiaries, including the Elders Pension Trust.

Campbell said the trust is doing so well because of the work of many investment managers.

"We tend to have more foreign content than most other funds."

He said at the end of 1999, the Nunavut Trust had a book value of nearly $540 million, and a market value of about $594 million.