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Saturday, May 25, 2024

No plans for crypto investments

The Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) has no immediate plans to invest in cryptocurrency due to its volatility, according to its executive director, Nigel Edwards.

Edwards made the statement yesterday in response to a question from a unitholder during the organisation’s annual general meeting, which took place at the Auditorium Conference Centre, Government Campus Plaza, Port-of-Spain.

“Is investing in cryptocurrency or cryptocurrency ETFs part of your portfolio currently or will it be in the near future?” a unitholder posted online.

“Cryptocurrency is not part of our current investment strategy. I will start by saying that cryptocurrency may be part of a valid strategy for some investors, but it is not part of what we believe to be a stable investment portfolio for our investors,” Edwards said.

“Our investors…want some capital appreciation, but with capital preservation, meaning: you want to ensure that the funds that you put in will be there a year after. If you leave your funds in for seven, ten, 15 years, you want to make sure that it is continually growing. The volatility (or the ups and downs) associated with cryptocurrency does not give us that assurance, and so it is not part of our immediate future consideration for investment in our portfolio,” he said.

Edwards informed unitholders that they can anticipate the UTC launching its app by July. He assured unitholders that they would not incur charges for over-the-counter transactions with the introduction of the app.

“What we are building out is a platform that allows you to use technology and to use the online ways to interface with us, if that is your preference; but also building it in such a way that if your preference is to come into our institution, that we also make it easier for you to transact within our branches and to continue transacting with the organisation, free of fees,” he said.

UTC’s chief information officer Nicholas Nanton also informed unitholders that they can anticipate being able to set their own Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) on their cards within the next two months. Currently, UTC cards come with pre-programmed PIN numbers.

Independent senator Hazel Thompson-Ahye inquired about the timeline for amending Section 40 (1) and (2) of the Unit Trust Act to enable attorneys to obtain information from the organisation on behalf of clients.

Edwards stated that the UTC is still advocating for several amendments to the act, which would require changes through Parliament. One of the amendments he mentioned is related to the relationship between the UTC and the regulators.

UTC chairman Jo-Anne Julien lauded the organisation’s performance over the year.

“I am delighted to report another year of solid results, with Funds Under Management now totalling some $24.5 billion and a 19% increase in total distribution payments. Your Unit Trust Corporation continues to provide strong performance and is well positioned for further success in 2024 and beyond,” Julien said.

Julien also acknowledged the tenure of outgoing directors Naleisha Bally and Douglas Camacho, whose terms on the board ended in June and December 2023 respectively.

“I take this opportunity to express our board’s gratitude for their valuable contributions and to also welcome Mr Anthony Joseph and Mr Brent Ford, our most recent appointees to the board,” Julien said.

“I also wish to mention the re-appointments to the board of the following directors: Mr Chip Sa Gomes, Mrs Sharmaine Caballero, Mr Robert Green, Mr Stephen Allum Poon, and Mr Brevard Nelson, all of whom generously agreed to continue to serve, for which I am indeed appreciative, and I look forward to their continued support, insights and expertise,” she said.

James Mackreides
James Mackreides
'Mac' is a short tempered former helicopter pilot , now a writer based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Loves dogs, the outdoors and staying far away from the ocean.

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