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ABSA open to establishing Lesotho branch

Bereng Mpaki

ABSA Bank and it agent Quafin Financial services are open to the idea of establishing branches in Lesotho to serve their growing number of clients in the country.

This was said by the chief executive of ABSA Investment Management Services (AIMS), Shaan Watkins, at a recent economic climate and investment presentation in Maseru.

Mr Watkins also underscored to the need for political stability to attract investment.

AIMS provides investment solutions including regular instalments, lump sum investments, retirement annuities and preservation funds, retirement income options, endowments and voluntary purchased annuities.

Currently, AIMS clients in Lesotho are served by Quafin Financial Services once a week in Maseru.

Mr Watkins said this could change with AIMS opening a Maseru branch if the number of clients in Lesotho continued to increase.

He said the opening of a local branch would also provide relief to AIMS clients who have to endure the onerous task of travelling to South Africa to access services.

Mr Watkins said AIMS was the largest unit trust company in South Africa. He likened AIMS to a supermarket with a complete range of household goods from different product providers and brands. He added that they also managed funds for other major financial services providers on their platform.

He also spoke of the need for political stability to ensure investor confidence.

“Investors prefer a stable political environment, and therefore they tend to hold onto their money and withdraw it where invested when they sense instability,” he said.

His comments come against the background of ongoing efforts aimed at implementing constitutional, security sector, governance, judicial and media reforms that are seen as crucial to creating lasting peace and stability in Lesotho.

Also present at the presentation were Johann Smith (AIMS regional manager), Adri Coetzer (AIMS business development manager) and Quafin managing director Pierre de Klerk.


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