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Report: Standard Bank, Stanlib combine index-tracking businesses

South Africa's Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Stanlib Asset Management Ltd. combined their index-tracking businesses into a single entity dubbed 1nvest, Business Day reported Oct. 13.

Regulators greenlit the new entity in September. Stanlib and Standard Bank Group have moved all non-balance sheet passive products into 1nvest and it now has a portfolio of 28 products, comprising assets under management of 12 billion South African rand, according to the report.

1nvest will cover services ranging from local and global equity and fixed-income ETFs and unit trusts to commodity ETFs. However, exchange-traded notes will not be moved into 1nvest, the report said.

"Stanlib and Standard Bank both wanted to grow their existing ETF businesses based on the future potential of passive products, so it made sense to have one group provider," 1nvest executive Johann Erasmus said. He added that its offerings will be available both as a broader package and stand-alone products.

The move comes amid a global trend-shift toward using passive investment products because of their low cost and the fact that active managers have been unable to consistently beat the market, the report said.

Stanlib is owned by insurer Liberty Holdings Ltd., which is 54% owned by Standard Bank Group. Both Liberty and Standard Bank Group own a 50% stake in the new platform.

As of Oct. 11, US$1 was equivalent to 14.75 South African rand.