The Annual General Meeting for Unitholders investing in the Unit Trust of Samoa was held at the Development Bank of Samoa Conference room on Monday 2nd of March 2020.
This was the first AGM for the new Chief Executive Officer for UTOS, Tevaga Viane Tagiilima who welcomed the Honourable Finance Minister, members of the Board of Directors of the UTOS Management Company and fellow unitholders present at the Meeting.
As of January 31st 2020, the total number of unitholders has exceeded 3,000 and although this is a significant increase in numbers compared to last year; it still only reflects that 1.6% of the total population of Samoa invest in UTOS.
Unitholders present at the meeting were asked to encourage their families, friends and organisations to invest in UTOS, whilst the unit price is still cheap.
The initial unit price in the beginning was .97 sene and it has grown to $1.69 to date; therefore the original price has nearly doubled.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UTOS management company, Afoa Asiata Kolone Vaai highlighted UTOS’ foray into advance technology whereby for the first time Unitholders residing overseas and in Savaii could view and participate in the AGM through interactive livestreaming.
“Unitholders no longer have to travel to Upolu for the AGM but can access the meeting by direct livestream from the conference room and at the same time raise any concerns they may have regarding the Trust performance”.
The Trustee, Taito John Roache from Tafailagi Trustee Company Ltd in his opening remarks highlighted the working relationship between the Trustee and the Unit Trust of Samoa Management Company that ensured all Unitholder funds were invested for highest return while at the same time maintaining security compliance.
Unitholders were assured that the work of the Trust carried out in the last financial year adhered to standards set out by the Central Bank as well as policies that protected UTOS from any inside trading.
The Honourable Finance Minister, Afioga Sili Epa Tuioti delivered the keynote address and officially opened the Meeting. He spoke on the primary objective of the Government for establishing UTOS; giving the opportunity for Samoans and local businesses to hold shares in privatised State Owned Enterprise.
The main aim of the Samoan Government is that Samoans including those living abroad make use of this investment opportunity for future benefit.
The Unit Trust of Samoa has contributed to the Samoan economy since its establishment nearly ten years ago, through dividends paid by UTOS to its unitholders and by the UTOS management company, as a state-owned enterprise, to the government of Samoa.
State owned enterprises are able to borrow from UTOS for improvements to their facilities and infrastructure. UTOS is therefore contributing to the development of Samoa’s economy, with a resulting return to the investment of unitholders.
The Finance Minister also touched on Government’s plans to provide opportunities to ensure that UTOS continues to grow for the benefit of all Samoans, such opportunities for equity investments in the Samoa Submarine Cable Company Ltd and Bluesky Samoa.
Hon. Sili Epa Tuioti stated that although there has been a slight delay in the construction of the new Samoa High Commission chancery in Wellington New Zealand, UTOS is still at the forefront to finance this project estimated to cost $25 million tala.
Hon. Sili Epa thanked all unitholders for their continuous support by investing in UTOS which has benefited many Samoans.
He also thanked the current Trustee, Chairman and board of directors for the management company as well as management and staff for their good work over the last financial year.
See www.utos.ws for information on how to invest.