The need to inspire and induce new habits of savings among Batswana is necessitated by their existing regard and ownership of wealth which is largely limited to tangible things such as livestock and ploughing lands. Very few Batswana have embraced wealth generation and ownership in the form of assets such as stocks and bonds, things through which wealth is built unseen by the eye. Despite this, wealth asset management firms continue to lure ordinary citizens to newly developed and innovative wealth creation products.
IPRO Botswana, one such management firm launched a new fund termed Ponelopele fund last week Thursday which caters to both individual citizens and institutional investors. IPRO was established in Mauritius in 1992 and began its operations in Botswana in 2007. The firm asserts that Ponelopele fund is an alternative to earning attractive returns on the excess cash individuals and institutional investors have. The firm also prided the Ponelopele fund to be the country’s first Botswana and Africa focused multi asset fund licensed by the Non Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA). This in other words means that the fund will put 60 percent of its assets in Botswana investment instruments while the remaining 40 percent will be put in the Sub Saharan African region. “This will allow retail (individual) investors’ access to some asset classes that they ordinarily wouldn’t have access to with relatively small investment amounts, whilst also providing institutional investors the benefit of a widely diversified investment product,” said Clair Mathe-Lisenda, IPRO’s Senior Investments Manager.
Its multi asset characteristic means the fund will pool together money from different investors and put it in various investment options such as shares of listed public companies, bonds, property, private unlisted companies and hedge funds. The advantage being that investors will be exposed to a reduced risk due to the diversified offering. The fund offers two ways of putting money into it, the first through accumulated cash in hand (lump sum investment) from a minimum value of P1000 and the second through monthly regular payments coming direct from the bank account from a minimum value of P100. Buying and selling of the Fund’s shares will take place on a weekly basis.
The asset management firm will manage the fund using the Pula as its base currency. This is a welcomed initiative for both investors and fund managers because it avoids the risk of converting currencies during buying and selling transactions which has an impact on the amount of return on investment. The fund will also benefit from the positive impact the domestic economy has on the local currency especially given that Botswana boasts of a stable monetary environment.