New UTT firms seek to boost investors’ returns

The number of Unit Trust of Tanzania (UTT) unitholders has gone to over 100,000, and currently getting best returns than anywhere in the money markets.

UTT says its Collective Investment Funds are offering over three per cent returns on a quarterly basis and a double digit, annually.

The UTT Chief Executive Officer, Dr Hamis Kibola (pictured), says the return of investment per unit was largely for the funds that provide a consistent inflow of earnings to the investor on a quarterly basis. “We have not lost a cent of unitholders since inception,” Dr Kibola says.

After ten years in business, he says, it is important for the company to change with market environment. The move envisages ballooning further the return of investment for the unitholders.

The management approved three new companies--UTT Asset Management and Investor Service (UTT AMIS), UTT Project and Infrastructure Development (UTT-PID) and UTT Microfinance to deal with businesses, pensions, company listing consultations so as to unlock idle capital in real estate and infrastructures and micro-lending, among others.

Dr Kibola says the split came after a thorough research and the three firms have already been legally incorporated under the company law as limited companies by shares. “The fund activities have increased overtime as a result of social and economic activities expansion.

The best way forward was to separate the fund and give each department a total autonomy,” Dr Kibola said as he introduced the three companies. “We expect to do better because of where we invest - call accounts, bonds, treasury bills, corporate bonds, fixed deposits.

We invest diligently on behalf of our investors,” Dr Kibola said. Under the new structure after the split, the companies are getting a seed capital ratio of 40:30:30 equivalents for UTT AMIS 7bn/-, UTT-PID 5.4bn/- and UTT Microfinance 5.4bn/- respectively.

All three companies expect to raise additional capital through Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE). The modality has not been reached but the available options include issuing new shares and selling them to the public or issuing corporate bonds.

UTT AMIS will continue to manage the current five collective schemes and work out the introduction of new schemes like the Dollar Fund targeting Diaspora.

UTT AMIS acting Chief Operating Officer Rashid Mchatta says his office is finalising the license issues with SSRA and CMSA to start offering pension and listing consultations. While UTT-MFI acting CEO Mr James Washima says the objective of the unit is to inculcate a savings and investment culture through financing bankable projects.

“Our study shows that most SMEs have nothing to save as what they generate is basically from hand to mouth,” Mr Washima says, “this is a real time challenge.” Over the years, the Trust realised that most SMEs access loans at very high interest rates with cumbersome regulations not borrower-friendly.

Mr Washima says his organisation has found out that some financial institutions are charging between 40 and 120 per cent to the SMEs, thus suffocating such small firms instead of developing them.

And going by the proverb “experience is the best teacher”, the Trust created an independently microfinance to offer loans to SMEs at trouble-free and affordable rates.

The UTT prime objectives includes; to encourage savings and investment culture among the citizen of the United Republic of Tanzania, through establishment, launch and management of collective investment schemes and other initiatives in the country.

The UTT initiative to split the Trust into three companies expects to accelerate its revenue growth as well as benefit more unitholders apart from creating job opportunities.

UTT business expansion is also expected to have multiply effects on the country’s economic growth as well as socially since the revenue to be generated would be injected to other national development projects.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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