HEARD on the street
If you are an investor keen to invest in a unit trust fund but have been discouraged by the recent crash of African Bank Investments Limited (Abil), you no longer need to worry.
The Financial Services Board (FSB) announced this week that collective investment schemes, including unit trust funds, would now be allowed to create “side pockets” for any Abil debt instruments. This means new investors in the funds will be protected from any exposure to the Abil debt.
Jurgen Boyd, the deputy executive officer for collective investment schemes at the FSB, confirmed that by the close of business on August 18, at least 50 funds had applied to the FSB to create side-pocket portfolios.
If you are an existing investor of an affected fund that chooses to create a side-pocket portfolio, the fund is required to inform you in writing of its creation and to regularly update you on its status.
Easier to earn eBucks
After a review of the rewards programme and after changes to the way rewards are earned, it could be easier for you to earn eBucks.
Your eBucks reward level will now be assessed monthly rather than over a 12-month rolling period. Previously, you had to agree to receive marketing material before you could start earning eBucks. Now, you can earn eBucks regardless, and can earn additional points if you agree to receive marketing material.
If you are using a gold or platinum cheque card, you receive increased eBucks if you use a matching gold or platinum credit card as well.
Smart account holders will now receive:
R5 back in airtime for every R100 spent with Shoprite and Checkers.
R5 back in airtime for every R100 spent on prepaid airtime through FNB’s electronic channels.
An additional R5 back in airtime per month for transacting via cellphone banking, online or by using the FNB banking app, as opposed to transacting at a branch.
R5 per month for withdrawing cash at a till point.
The new earning rules are effective immediately for Smart account holders and effective from October 1 for gold and platinum account holders.
FirstRand lists Gold Bond
If you have Krugerrands or want to invest in gold, you can now do so by buying Krugerrands and using them to invest in the FirstRand Gold Bond, which listed on the JSE this month. Your Krugerrands are the currency and the Gold Bond has a fiveyear term.
When your investment term expires, the value of the bond will be determined by the gold price, the dollar/ rand exchange rate and the interest earned.
The interest is calculated in terms of ounces of gold. You may take delivery of your Krugerrands on maturity, or opt to settle the deal in cash.
The FirstRand Gold Bond can be accessed via a stockbroker in the same way you would buy any other JSE-listed investment.
Molo Funeral Services fined
Molo Funeral Services was fined R200 000 and ordered to pay R71 230 in costs after the Financial Services Board ( FSB) found the company had been conducting the business of a long-term insurer without a licence.
Between September 2011 and December 2013, the company sold assistance policies to clients, provided policy benefits for premiums and also settled claims lodged by policyholders.
The company’s client book has now been taken over by a registered, longterm insurer. When you buy a funeral policy, you should ensure it is underwritten by a registered long-term insurance company.
You can double-check the underlying company is registered with the FSB by calling 0800 110 443 or 0800 202 087. You can also check the Financial Service Provider number, which should be on your policy document.