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Ugandans In The Diaspora Tipped On Investment Options Back Home

Hellen Kanobere Musubika, the Housing Finance Bank Uganda Manager for Diaspora and High Net Worth

During a webinar held on June 15th that focused on exploring investment opportunities and home ownership by Ugandans in the diaspora, Hellen Kanobere Musubika, the Housing Finance Bank Uganda Manager for Diaspora and High Net Worth, highlighted that the economy continues to post impressive growth, guaranteeing investors a return on their money.

She noted the growing number of Ugandans in search of better opportunities in the diaspora with remittances of US$1,250.3 in personal transfers according to the BOU 2022/23 remittances report, hence the need for banking solutions that match the needs & lifestyle of this niche.

The government’s continued push to borrow from the public presents the diaspora community with an opportunity to invest in Treasury bills and bonds. These are risk-free short-term financial instruments for investment regularly issued to the public by the Government through the Bank of Uganda. The Investment Period for Treasury Bills is short-term tenors of 3 months (91 days) currently at 8%, 6 months (182 days) at 9.5%, and 1 year (364 days) at 11%.

The treasury bonds are long-term in nature with a current return of 14% for an investment of years, 13.5% for a 3-year investment period, 14.375% for 10 years, and 15% for 20 years.

As a Ugandan living and working in the diaspora with a limited presence on the ground, government securities are risk-free, and investors will be guaranteed returns and certainty of cashflows with minimum involvement in addition to being collateral for lending.

According to the BOU financial report, inflation is currently at 3.6 percent which is within the target range of 5%. For Ugandans in the diaspora, stable inflation increases investors certainly, interest rates are more predictable which is ideal for remitting money back home for investment. In partnership with Western Union, swift, Money Gram, and Terra Payments, Housing Finance Bank has simplified Safely sending money back home for the diaspora.

According to Musubika, the growing young population, currently over 45.5 million people according to UBOS digital Census, with a growth rate of over 30% suggests a substantial housing deficit that needs filling especially in urban centers.  This gap between Housing supply and demand presents an opportunity for Ugandans in the Diaspora to invest in the Housing Value chain.

Housing Finance Bank has also tailored  Mortgage Financing models that make it easy for the diaspora community to invest. Some of these include Developer financing to stimulate affordable housing development, off-taker Financing to enable Ugandans interested in Buying homes, Building for occupancy, and Developing rentals for cashflows.

Through the Bank’s partnership with AVARTS Housing, the bank has additionally availed property management services to support the diaspora in real estate with Rental collections and finding of tenants, Property Maintenance and Improvements, Bill Payment, Bookkeeping, and Financial Reporting. 

Sarah Muloki (Not real name), who works in Germany, asked whether the bank could help her sell her house in Uganda and invest that money in something else. Musubika responded that the Housing Finance Bank has mortgage financing solutions that buyers can take advantage of to simplify her house sell-off at her convenience.

Housing Finance Bank offers a unique diaspora Easy account with online banking, making it digitally possible to access and operate an account back home with an online banking platform and personalized support from a professional relationship diaspora team.

“To encourage you to save, we strongly recommend using this account with no monthly charges. You can also use the Mastercard to be able to pay for goods online and buy them in a supermarket. All those points-of-sale transactions are enabled with our Mastercard. You can also be able to withdraw cash using the Mastercard internationally,” she said.

Musubika noted that HFB has different investment options that customers can leverage to passively grow their money. These include savings accounts, fixed deposit accounts, and Toto savings accounts for children, to save for their children’s university education and other needs.

Housing Finance Bank is an indigenous bank whose purpose is to enable homeownership and financial independence for all Ugandans and those in the diaspora. HFB is one of the 10 largest profitable banks in the country, with over Shs1.3 trillion in assets and Shs817 billion in customer deposits.

Since its establishment in 1967, Housing Finance Bank has had 18 branches with over 900 agents in the country.

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