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Centum subsidiary eyes students with unit trusts


Capital Markets Authority chief executive Paul Muthaura. FILE PHOTO | NMG

A wealth management firm owned by listed Centum has launched a unit trust investment product targeting over 300,000 college and university students.

Nabo Capital’s Wanafunzi Investment Unit Trust Fund expects to raise Sh1.5 billion in the next three years by tapping into ‘float’ money that students mostly spend on mobile phone airtime, clothes as well as partying.

Speaking during the launch, Capital Markets Authority chief executive Paul Muthaura tipped the product to help students nurture a savings culture early in life.

Individual and institutional investment schemes have placed Sh66.3 billion in collective unit trust schemes, an mount that is managed by asset managers.

“We have created a mechanism that enables students to participate in national development moving them from being retail investors to being collective participants in the economy. It is a savings route that makes students part of the larger individual and retail investors who have placed Sh66.3 billion in unit trusts,” he said.

Wanafunzi Initiative Unit Trust Fund chief executive Fredrick Ogola said a feasibility study showed students spent Sh89.6 billion annually in accessories, clothes and airtime,

“Part of this should be directed to savings for future income. To be in a position to save requires behavioural change. Young people should strive to contribute to the national development through saving and investment,” he said.

Nabo Capital chief executive Pius Muchiri said there was need to create awareness among student on the importance to save money in interest-earning financial products that will give them seed capital to start life as young adults.