Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

10 April 2012

Tanzania: Umoja Fund Units Value Triples

THE value of Umoja Fund units has tripled from 70/- to 212/- over the last seven years, the Head of Investment Management at Unit Trust of Tanzania (UTT), Dr Gratian Kamugisha, said in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.

Umoja Fund is a collective investment scheme formed by UTT in May 2005, investors initially bought the units at 70/- each and the government topped up the amount with 30/-. "The value has now gone up to 212/- each including 9/- income distribution amount, which is three times of the iniatial value," Dr Kamugisha told the 'Daily News.'

He said after its establishment UTT and investors decided to have a one year lock in period, where investors were not allowed to withdraw funds. After expiry of the lock in period in August 2006, the scheme became open-ended. Dr Kamugisha said initially there were fears of mass exodus -- investors could withdraw and abandon the fund after expiry of the one-year lock in period.

"I am glad that the Fund continued to grow and reached 94.551bn/- as at last Wednesday (April 4) and the value has gone up as well," he said in an interview. He, however, noted that some investors left and the fund dropped to 56bn/-, but at present there was a lot of confidence as more investors were coming in.

He said those who came to seek their money were paid immediately, a factor that helped to bring about confidence in the market. He said apart from Umoja Fund UTT also manages three other funds -- Wekeza Maisha, Watoto Fund and Jikimu Fund. He said that UTT has managed to promote saving culture through collecftive investment schemes.

He said further that returns on investment therough UTT funds was around 15 per cent, which is the highest in the financial market. Dr Kamugisha said that UTT was also having challenges including limited investment opportunities and lack of many products.

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