Finance & Banking

Standard Chartered Bank sets pace with launch of offshore mutual funds

KAMPALA-Standard Chartered Bank Uganda on Monday launched offshore mutual funds product for their clients during a press conference held at Kampala Serena Hotel and presided over by the Bank’s CEO, Sanjay Rughani, and Keith Kalyegira, the CEO Capital Markets Authority [CMA].

With the new product, the first of its kind in the country, officials said, the Bank’s clients will enjoy access to hundreds of underlying equities or bonds from Blue-chip companies in the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, Asia, and emerging markets in different sectors like healthcare, technology, real estate, and green investments.

The bank officials said the mutual funds would provide clients with an affordable and diverse way to put their money to work in some of the world’s most promising markets.

They said any individual client could start investing from as low US$ 100 [about Shs 370,000] with a simple monthly plan. They can also invest in Euro and British pound sterling.

“Furthermore, clients will easily and conveniently invest in these offshore Mutual Funds as well as cash out their investment at any time at market value.”

While unveiling the new product, the bank’s CEO Sanjay said: “The launch of this offshore mutual fund proposition is a significant milestone for Standard Chartered Bank and a testament to our commitment to providing our clients with a diverse range of investment options. With these new funds, we will be able to offer our clients access to a broader range of markets and industries, and the potential for higher returns.”

He said they will also provide any client with objective, relevant wealth advisory and solutions they need to achieve their ambitions.

He added: “All investors can take comfort in knowing that this offshore mutual fund proposition has been carefully designed and will be managed by our team of experienced professionals, and we are confident that it will perform excellently well.”

Moses Rutahigwa, the banks’ head of consumer private and business unit said: “We are proud to announce the launch of international mutual funds, an alternative investment vehicle that is affordable and offers a diverse way to put one’s money to work.”

Lydia Nakamya the bank’s General Manager, Affluent Banking and Wealth Management said the bank’s clients would gain access to global investment and have an opportunity to diversify their portfolios by adding exposure to different markets, sectors, and currencies.

She added their clients would also access higher returns than what is currently available locally as well as reduce their risk due to diversification of their portfolios.

CMA CEO Keith Kalyegira said: “We are proud to have worked closely with the team at Standard Chartered Bank to support Ugandans with an inclusive investment option that is flexible, affordable and relatively conservative in terms of risk.”

He said mutual funds are highly regulated and that CMA has the power to take disciplinary action for any violations of regulations or for engaging in fraudulent or unethical practices. “Additionally, the CMA may also provide guidance and education to mutual funds,” he said.

Mutual funds is a general term for funds that allow investors to pull their money with that of other investors and are managed by a team of investment professionals. The pooling of money generally creates greater buying power so investors are able to invest in a wider range of investments than would be possible for most individual investors. Each investor in a fund owns units or shares which represent a part of a funds portfolio holdings. Mutual funds can be categorised by the type of assets they invest in, such as; shares, bonds, cash or other securities.

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