BIFM Expands Unit Trusts Offering


Botswana’s largest asset management company, the Botswana Insurance Fund Management (BIFM) has launched two new unit trust funds, expanding its unit trusts portfolio to five products, Retail Manager Thato Kgasa said in an interview.

She told The Botswana Gazette that they launched the BIFM Letlotlo Education Fund, which will enable parents to save for their children’s future educational needs.

It has a seven year lock in period which Kgasa said allows parents to save at their pace and within their budget. During that period, there shall be no withdrawals. Kgasa said it will also help in financial discipline. “It was introduced to address the market needs on investments towards education. We need to keep pace with what is happening in the country,” she said.

Further the company also launched the BIFM Yamasa Junior Fund, which is a long term investment for the children. The fund will ensure that BIFM in partnership with parents inculcate a savings culture in their children. During the process of investment, the children will be allowed to monitor and observe the process of investment as well as to witness the results of that investment when the Fund matures.

Kgasa said all the funds invest in bonds, equities and cash securities. “They are housed all over the world including here in Botswana’s capital market. They are managed daily by a team of our in house professionals in partnership with our team of offshore asset managers,” she revealed.

The differentiating factor is that the Letlotlo Fund is of a low risk profile since it invests more in bonds and cash securities. The Yamasa Fund, which invests more in equities, has a bit of a moderate to high risk profile,” she said. All of them have a seven year lock-in period to allow for a disciplined savings culture. The minimum investment needed is P200. The two new additions have catapulted BIFM’s Unit Trust Funds to five. There is the BIFM Pula Money Fund, which acts as a capital preservation fund. It invests in Call and Fixed Deposits, Treasury Bills and Corporate Bonds. It is the most ideal for investors who seek to earn a competitive return while preserving their cash. It also caters for short term investing since the capital invested is not exposed to market volatilities.

BIFM also has the Balanced Prudential Fund, a capital growth fund which invests in both local and offshore equities, bonds and other money market instruments. It is ideal for investors with a moderate risk appetite and seek to generate long term capital growth.

The Local Equity Fund, another capital growth fund invests predominantly in local equities listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE). However there is leeway to invest in offshore equities and convertible bonds. It is ideal for investors with a high risk appetite and tolerance for period of high volatility.

With Assets Under Management (AUM) exceeding P20 billion, BIFM, a 100 percent subsidiary of the colossal Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), is the largest asset manager in Botswana.