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. 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.