Local Unit Trust Company Launched with Fanfare

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By Mbatjiua Ngavirue WINDHOEK Prime Minister Nahas Angula officially launched two sister companies FNB Namibia Unit Trust Ltd and RMB Asset Management (Namibia) Ltd at a function on Thursday evening. FNB Namibia Unit Trust Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the FNB Group in Namibia, while RMB Asset Management (Namibia) Ltd is a 50:50 joint venture with RMB Asset Management (SA). Both companies are part of the South African financial services giant FirstRand Ltd, but the Namibian group of companies is 60% owned by First Rand while Namibians own the remaining 40%. Angula said he was pleased to note RMB Namibia is complying with government’s call to invest a significant portion of its assets under management locally to stem the tide of capital outflow. “In this regard I am assured by the FNB Group CEO that a minimum of 40% of RMB Namibia’s assets under management are invested in the Namibian market – more than the statutory required minimum of 35%,” he applauded the company. Asset management companies have a big role to play in mobilising and deploying financial resources for the economic development of the country. According to Angula, this increasingly required that Namibian assets be utilised locally to drive the expansion and diversification of the economy to the benefit of its people. He was mindful of the prudential requirements and fiduciary responsibilities of asset managers’ boards of directors to safeguard the retirement and other assets of Namibian investors. “All I am pleased for is that Namibia, as the owner of these assets, should get a fair share of these resources,” he noted with satisfaction. FNB Namibia Unit Trusts can trace its roots back to 2002 when it started as a 50/50 joint venture between FNB and Metropolitan, with the funds managed by Metropolitan Assets Managers in Namibia. In 2005, FNB acquired Metropolitan’s 50%, resulting in the establishment of FNB Namibia Unit Trust Ltd on 1 January 1 2006 as a wholly owned subsidiary of FNB Namibia Holdings. FNB migrated all funds to its system on 1 October 2006, since when the bank has marketed the products under the FNB umbrella, with the funds managed by RMB Asset Management Namibia. CEO of FNB Namibia Unit Trusts Ltd, Sarel van Zyl, said the company has positioned its products as long-term savings/investment products aimed across all market segments. The company currently offers three different funds, including the FNB Equity Fund, which invests 100% in equities, of which it invests 35% in Namibia. The other two funds are the FNB Income Fund and the FNB Money Market Fund, which both invest in interest-bearing instruments. The majority of the instruments in these two portfolios are local instruments such as treasury bills, government bonds and other corporate paper. Operations Manager Edison Katjipuka, operating out of the First City Centre in Windhoek, heads the FNB Unit Trust office.