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Amana asks clients to delay access to funds by 6 months

Nakumatt branch
City residents outside a closed Nakumatt branch. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Asset manager Amana Capital is set to extend freeze on the withdrawal of funds by a further six months as the aftershocks of Nakumatt's collapse weighs it down.

Amana, through NatBank Trustee & Investment Services, has proposed in a notice to its clients detailing the agenda of the Extraordinary General Meeting on February 28.

If the proposal is adopted by shareholders, Amana’s clients will have to wait longer before they can access their money.

Amana’s shilling fund has remained frozen in the last two years amid reports that it lost Sh275 million in a commercial paper of the failed Nakumatt Holdings.

This has frustrated clients who had been accustomed to recalling their capital in a matter of days when entering similar investment vehicles.

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The notice outlined part of the agenda of the EGM as to “update on the status of funds invested in the different class of units. Seek the consent of the Class B unit holders and pass…the extension of the moratorium period of Class B of the money market fund by a further six months up to and including August 6, 2020,” said the notice shared by the trustees.

“Creation of Class C shares and update on the Nakumatt Commercial Paper investment.” The notice comes five days after the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) placed a 28-day freeze on the withdrawal of funds from Amana Capital to cushion it.

Nakumatt defaulted on the commercial paper among other classes of creditors, sparking major write-offs among banks, suppliers, insurance firms and high net-worth individuals.

The CMA’s move to place a 28-day freeze on the withdrawal of funds last week followed a decision by regulator that requires money market funds to disclose where they have invested clients’ cash as well as the terms of those deals.

This follows revelations of investment gambles that have lost investors billions of shillings in the past.

CMA acting chief executive Wycliffe Shamiah said the regulator plans to audit the committees that make investment decisions after they realised some of the funds were being controlled by lone rangers.

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