While companies around the globe report decreased earnings and give bleak forecasts, the UTC is reporting 2008 as a year of unprecedented growth and has already seen some growth continue in 2009. Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) investors benefitted from over TT $1 billion in distribution payments in 2008 (a 32% increase over 2007). As at March 31, 2009 UTC has already seen their assets under management grow by an additional $520M with bond returns outperforming bank deposits and equity products outperforming their benchmarks (though still negative).
Highlighting other 2008 financial achievements, UTC Executive Director Marlon Holder used numerous graphs in his PowerPoint presentation at the May 5th UTC Annual General Meeting to show:
- TT$131 million net contribution to capital (highest ever in history of the Corporation) in 2008;
- Total resources under management approaching TT$ 20 billion as at December 31, 2008;
- UTC Merchant Bank profits up from $35 million in 2007 to $84 million in 2008.
In 2008 UTC also focused heavily on improving customer service. Early last year, the Corporation launched its online investment service, UTC U-Online, allowing the Corporation to serve customers in over 130 countries across the globe. “Business Development Officers, Regional Managers and greeters were added to enhance customer service delivery across our Customer Service Network,” said UTC Executive Director. In 2008, UTC also showed appreciation to the communities the Corporation has been privileged to serve for over 26 years with every member of staff being required to participate in at least 2 community projects over the 12 month period. At the end of 2008, UTC staff volunteered in 74 community projects across Trinidad and Tobago.
Addressing the Corporation’s strength and growth, UTC Chairman, Amoy Chang Fong, stated: “Our customer base continues to grow and despite the fall in value of securities, the value of Funds under management also continues to grow albeit more slowly as the disposable income of our clients comes under stress. Our capital continues to grow as our retained earnings accumulate. Accumulated retained earnings were in excess of TT$700 million at the end of 2008.” She further reported that over the last 18 months, the Corporation had adopted a defensive strategy by realigning its portfolios toward more fixed income sovereign and short-term securities in order to minimize exposure to the volatile markets stating “… we believe that we are positioned to take advantage of positive changes in the markets.”
Using a cautiously optimistic approach to predicting the economic outlook for 2009, the UTC Executive Director predicted oil prices would trade in a range between $50-60 TT a barrel and echoed sentiments that slow economic growth would continue allowing for greater potential for positive returns on equity investments in late 2009.
2009 will herald a new level of customer service at UTC with customers to benefit from enhanced services from the UTC online investment service (U-Online), enhanced ATM facilities and improved teller front end (teller/customer) management systems.
Ending his presentation, the Executive Director thanked customers for their continued support of the UTC stating, “UTC is well positioned to prosper during this period of financial uncertainty and we are thankful for the faith and confidence you have placed in us.”
CONTACT: Group Corporate Communications