Media Release 30th November 2018
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE UNIT TRUST OF SAMOA (TRUST) 2018
The Annual General Meeting of the Unitholders of UTOS (Trust) was held at the Development Bank of Samoa Conference room on Friday 30th November 2018.
Acting CEO for UTOS; Fainuulelei James Ah Wai welcomed the Honourable Minister of Finance, members of the Board of Directors of the UTOS (Management) Company, Trustee, and fellow unitholders present at the meeting. Mr. Ah Wai also led a moment of silence to pay tribute to the former CEO for UTOS the late Sa’u Justina Sa’u- Lam who passed away last month.
The Trustee, Taito John Roache from Tafailagi Trustee Company Ltd then proceeded with the opening remarks, whereby under the Unit Trust Act 2008 and Trust deed; covered their critical role of independence in vesting of all investments and other properties of the Trust to hold in trust on behalf of the unitholders in compliance with the provisions of the Master Trust Deed 2010, Amending Deed 2017 and the Act.
Taito spoke on their working relationship with the Board of Directors and Management and Staff of UTOS to ensure that the Manager remains in compliance with Central Bank of Samoa Prudential Guidelines and other governing legislations regarding the investing of the Trust’s funds.
The Honourable Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, delivered the keynote address and officially opened the Meeting. He spoke on the primary objective of the Government for establishing UTOS and overall plans of the Government for the UTOS(Management) Company. UTOS provided the opportunity for Samoans to hold shares in privatised State Owned Enterprises. The Government is keen to grow the number of overseas and local based Samoans to invest in UTOS. As at 30 October 2018, the total number of unitholders is 2,263. It was noted that the future prospects of UTOS investments are strong and attractive. Therefore the unitholders present at the meeting were asked to encourage their families and friends to invest in UTOS, and look towards a bright future for themselves, their families, businesses and organisations.
The Honourable Minister of Finance, also stressed to the unitholders, the importance of investing funds in UTOS for a term of three or more years to get the maximum return on their funds. These returns include dividends that are paid to annually to the unitholders and capital gains. The initial unit price in 2010 was .97 sene and it has grown steadily over the years with a current prevailing price of $1.61. The main aim of the Unit Trust is to build economic growth for a better future; focusing on long term investments in order to realise a high return to unitholders on their investments.
Sili also spoke on Government’s plans to provide opportunities to ensure that UTOS continues to grow for the benefit of Samoans. Some of these opportunities included the investment in shares of the Samoa Submarine Cable Company Ltd and financing of the Malo Samoa Centre in Auckland, New Zealand. Hon. Sili Epa Tuioti was also pleased to announce the Cabinets approval for UTOS to finance the new Samoa High Commission office in Wellington, New Zealand commencing 2019 with an approximate cost of $25 Million Tala.
The Hon. Sili Epa used the opportunity to sincerely thank all unitholders for their continuous support and believing in the Governments dream by investing in UTOS (Trust)which has proven beneficial for many Samoans. Lastly the Finance Minister concluded by paying tribute to UTOS former CEO the late Sau Justina Sau- Lam. She was a valuable leader who was with UTOS since the beginning and has contributed invaluably not only to the Government of Samoa but to all of our citizens. Gratitude to Sa’u Justina Sau-Lam for leading UTOS for the past eight years for her great work has now blessed UTOS with its ongoing success.
He also thanked the current Trustee, Chairman and Board of Directors for the Unit Trust (Management) Company, including Management and Staff for their good work done for the last financial year.
Hon. Sili Epa officially opened the 8th AGM for UTOS and handed the floor to Taito, who in his capacity as Trustee appointed the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UTOS Management Company, Afoa Asiata Kolone Vaai to chair the Meeting.
UTOS SAVAII ROADSHOW
The Savaii Roadshow is an overdue initiative issued as a directive by the Executive Board to capture potential unitholders residing in Savaii. 118 of the total 2,101 unitholders reside in Savaii, which translates that of Samoan unit holders, only 5.6% are from the Savaii market. This has further highlighted the need to strengthen the UTOS presence in Savaii to realign with the organizational goal of
“To provide an investment vehicle for an ordinary Samoa out in the village, a small farmer or fisherman”
We have managed to roll out to the selected villages the competitive products and services that UTOS have offered that are beneficial to unitholders. Apart from our existing products and services we now have utilized the existing technology that we already have in Samoa in ways of internet and mobile to develop our products in a form of an app to reach out to remote areas so that you can check your balance and make deposits online via mobile or any area with internet access.
Selected villages to host the planned seminars were selected on the following conditions:
- Location & Venue – Village Hall appropriately furnished to host the seminar team, convenient transport system/location (buses, walking distance etc) for neighboring villages to also attend.
- Samoa Post Office – Samoa Post Office near the village hall for convenient access by CFO for auditing and checks carried out.
- Population – high population numbers to attract for seminar.
The villages and selected venues were Salelologa – Jetover Hotel Conference Room , Fagamalo – Hall EFKS , Asau – Fale Komiti Tina ma Tamaitai , Sala’ilua – Fale Komiti Tina ma Tamaitai
Public awareness of the seminars regarding location and dates was advertised through different mediums.
- Radio talkback Shows- four (4) radio shows was hosted on the following days: 30th May 2018- Talofa FM, 31st May - 2AP, 7th June- Talofa FM and 2AP same day
- Lali ad- two (2) Lali ads was aired on the 7th and 8th of June 2018.
- Ministry of Women Community and Social Development (MWCSD) Internal Affairs division were also involved with the notifying of village councils and Women’s Committee through formal letters on the scheduled program.
With the community notices made; the forecasted numbers of participants was targeted at 40- 50 people per session.
Overall, while the Savaii Roadshow turn-out was below expectations, this was a valuable event for key staff to experience and witness first hand, the areas that need urgent attention in order for UTOS to capitalize on the Savaii market. This has clearly highlighted the objective and need to build upon and nurture the relationship with not only customers but key partners such as the Samoa Post.
For Savaii, we are currently working in partnership with Samoa Post to submit new unitholders application forms and make deposits from its Outposts. The Customer Relations Division will endeavor to implement a new approach to capturing the Savaii market, which aligns with the Government initiative of “o mea e lelei mo Upolu, e lelei fo’i mo Savaii”.