SINPF Signs MOU with Unit Trust of Fiji
The Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) and the Unit Trust of Fiji (UTOF) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to exchange, share information and to jointly prepare a feasibility on the viability of establishing a Unit Trust in Solomon Islands.
The signing took place on Friday 26th May 2023 at the SINPF Boardroom when the CEO of UTOF Mr Vilash Chand and UTOF Regional Manager and Board Secretary Mr Sakiusa Bolaira made a brief visit to the country.
With the support and technical expertise of UTOF and local knowledge of SINPF both parties will consider the potential partnership of establishing a viable unit trust in Solomon Islands. Potential candidates for the unit trust include several subsidiaries of SINPF; Solomon Telekom Limited, South Pacific Oil Limited, Solomon Housing, Soltuna Ltd and Solomon Submarine Cable Company Limited.
The SINPPF understands that the current government has also set as one of its national objectives the establishment of a unit trust. The Investment Corporation of Solomon Islands (ICSI) has also mooted the idea and has progressed to undertake a feasibility as well. With this in mind the SINPF Board and UTOF will extend the MOU to include the ICSI so that resources can be shared in the investigation of this investment vehicle and its eventual establishment once all the boxes are ticked, for ordinary Solomon Islanders.
Unit Trust pools the savings of individuals when they purchase units in the Fund and make investments on their behalf in equities, properties, and other investment asset classes. When profits are made these are paid directly to unit holders/investors as distributions when dividends are declared.
The UTOF is a member of the Pacific Islands Investment Forum (PIIF) that groups together including the SINPF, all Provident, Superannuation and Unit Trust Funds in the Pacific region. UTOF has supported the establishment of the Samoa Unit Trust with the National Provident Fund of Samoa and currently progressing a unit trust in Vanuatu with the Vanuatu National Provident Fund.
Discussions with UTOF on a potential cooperation started in 2019 and was stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2022. This cooperation has commenced and as work progresses formal approvals will be secured from the Board, the Minister of Finance and relevant authorities.