The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has admitted Acorn Investment Management Limited to the regulatory sandbox for one year.
The licensed Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) manager has developed an investment platform called ‘Vuka’ to aggregate retail investors into asset-backed financial products such as real estate through a regulated and transparent structure.
“The Authority is cognizant of Acorn’s commitment to supporting capital markets development and growth. The innovation further supports Kenya’s Big 4 agenda on affordable housing. We are hopeful of a successful testing and eventual rollout of the innovation to the mass market,” CMA Chief ExecutiveWyckliffe Shamiah said in a statement.
Vuka is a cross-over from illiquid and opaque forms of real estate plagued by land disputes and pyramid schemes to predictable and stable returns generated by assets with high demand. Its value proposition is enabling the public to accumulate wealth and achieve financial freedom by investing in a diversified portfolio of income-generating rental housing such as the Acorn Income REIT.
The innovation will target qualified retail investors such as investment clubs (chamas), SACCOs, and other medium-to-long term retail investors.
Acorn Investment Management Limited (AIML) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Acorn Holdings Limited (AHL). It is currently the REIT Manager for Acorn Student Accommodation Development REIT (Acorn D-REIT) and the Acorn Student Accommodation Income REIT (Acorn I-REIT) quoted on the Unquoted Securities Platform of the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
Other firms in CMA’s Regulatory Sandbox include KOA Save Africa Limited, Moneto Ventures Limited, Innova Limited, Genghis Capital Limited, the Central Depository, and Settlement Corporation (CDSC), Pyypl Group Limited, Belrium Kenya Limited, and Four Front Management.