Standard Chartered Bank Kenya has started offering its offshore unit trust fund investments to its Kenyan customers, opening a window for retail investors to access US, European and Asian equities, and bonds markets.
The funds, known as the Signature CIO Funds, are offered in partnership with French asset manager Amundi Asset Management and will require a minimum investment of $1,000 (Sh145,400).
The CIO fund relies on the investment strategies and advisories developed by the StanChart chief investment officer based in Singapore, while Amundi takes the role of managing the funds.
StanChart Kenya and East Africa head of affluent banking and wealth management Paul Njoki said the funds are targeting investors who are eyeing diversification into offshore markets, but lack the knowledge that affluent and sophisticated investors possess on these markets.
“The fund is available to all clients via the mobile app, with a minimum ticket of $1,000, but you can also do a monthly plan of $100 that allows you to get into the fund,” he said.
“The asset allocation is quite broad. We invest mainly in the government bonds and S&P500 in the US market, in European stocks, and in Asia, we are in China, India and have also recently bought in Japan. This is the work Amundi does for us.”
Similar to local unit trusts, the CIO Funds have four different units based on targeting different profiles of investors based on risk appetite and reason for investing.
The income fund, StanChart said, targets those seeking a regular income from their investment, from a diversified portfolio that has about 50 percent of assets in fixed income, and the remainder spread between equities, exchange-traded funds, cash and Reits.
StanChart also runs a growth fund, which chases aggressive capital growth by going heavy on equities, and also eyes commodities and alternative asset classes.
The conservative fund on the other hand is highly exposed to fixed-income assets, while the balanced fund carries fairly similar allocation into equities and fixed income, with a slight tilt to equities.
Amundi has assets under management of $2 trillion, making it the 10th largest asset manager globally. The firm was formed out of an amalgamation of the asset management units of French lenders Crédit Agricole and Société Générale in 2010.