Do it for the sake of di­ver­sity

Finweek English Edition - - MARKETPLACE - By Si­mon Brown

Yes, you can buy shares in our Re­serve Bank, an od­dity but a re­al­ity. There are 2m shares avail­able for investors, with a tranche of 149 000 re­cently be­com­ing avail­able to buy.

Sounds crazy, but don’t think you’ll get to set pol­icy and de­cide on in­ter­est rates. To be hon­est, it isn’t a great in­vest­ment ei­ther. The div­i­dend is fixed at 10c a year and your only other right as a share­holder is to at­tend the an­nual gen­eral meet­ing (AGM). If you own at least 200 shares you can vote for non-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors.

So why buy them? I think it’s a great idea to di­ver­sify the share­holder base to as wide a group­ing of South Africans as pos­si­ble. Fur­ther, the Re­serve Bank build­ing in Pre­to­ria is truly amaz­ing and we’d get the an­nual in­vite to the AGM where we may get to take a selfie with the gov­er­nor.

The shares are traded over the counter via the Re­serve Bank’s web­site and are pretty much 100% illiq­uid. It is no in­vest­ment, but I’ll be putting a few hun­dred rand into some shares.

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