Mergence broadens investment portfolio   

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Bereng Mpaki

MERGENCE Lesotho, a diversified financial services company, this week announced the launch of its two new unit trust investment products for individuals.

These are Mergence Lesotho Equity Unit Trust Fund and the Mergence Lesotho CPI +4 percent Fund.

A unit trust allows individuals to easily access professionally managed funds by buying a portion of the fund, known as a unit. The investors’ money is pooled into an asset portfolio, which is invested across a selection of asset classes including the shares of listed companies, cash, bonds and deposits, properties and commodities.

This allows investors to access a wide range of investments that would not normally be available to them individually.

Mergence managing director, Semoli Mokhanoi, said the unit trusts will go a long way in opening up investments for the Basotho who wish to save for their future.

The company has been operating in Lesotho since 2015, and has been managing unit trusts in South Africa since 2010.

“The main saving that most people make is into their company’s retirement fund but if you have spare cash available for other investments, unit trusts offer a neat way to invest additional money to grow your retirement savings,” Mr Mokhanoi said.

“To date, few asset managers are registered to promote unit trusts in Lesotho. We are proud to say that Mergence is now licensed by the Registrar under the Central Bank of Lesotho (Collective Investment Schemes) Regulations, 2018, to avail unit trusts. There is a growing retail market for investments in Lesotho and this means that Basotho citizens now have a choice of unit trust funds which are registered in Lesotho.”

In terms of a risk-return profile, the Mergence Lesotho Equity Unit Trust Fund is described as an equity/share investment and is medium-to high-risk. The Mergence Lesotho CPI + 4% has an absolute return orientation and a lower risk profile.

Unit trusts produce returns higher than cash savings and fixed deposit investments over time. While investors can sell (redeem) their units whenever they want, to achieve these higher returns it is generally recommended that their money is kept in the unit trusts for a minimum of three to five years.

To invest in the Mergence Lesotho unit trusts, prospective clients can invest either a minimum lump sum of M500 or have a debit order of M100 per month.

The daily value of the unit trusts is published on Funds Data Online (www.fundsdata.co.za) and investors get a detailed quarterly investment report.

In addition, regularly updated fund fact sheets give details of the underlying investments, risk profile and expected performance relative to the funds’ benchmarks.

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