• We compiled a list of the 10 biggest South African unit trusts in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Some R1.9 trillion is invested in SA unit trusts, down 3% from the last quarter.
  • Unit trusts from Coronation, which was one of the biggest investors in Steinhoff, continued to feature in the top 10.

There are currently some 1,261 registered unit trusts on offer in SA, with a whopping R1,9 trillion invested in them, according to the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (Asisa), which released industry statistics this week.

We compiled a list of the 10 biggest unit trusts, which together represent almost a third of the total unit investment trusts investments. Below the unit trusts are ranked according to assets under management (AUM) as at 31 March 2018 — versus their AUM in the same period three years ago.

SA’s largest unit trusts at March 31 2018. (Table: Business Insider)/(Source: Asisa)

Allan Gray's leading unit trust, the Balanced Fund, saw a 33.2% increase in AUM over the past three years. But its Equity Fund, together with Foord's Balanced Fund and Coronation's Balanced Defensive Fund, all saw a fall in assets under management over the same period.  

Coronation was one of the largest shareholders in Steinhoff, which saw a collapse in its share price as accounting regularities emerged. However, its Balanced Plus and Balanced Defensive unit trusts which had a 2.1% and 0.6% exposure to Steinhoff, respectively, still did well, finishing in the top 10.

Despite the funds' exposure to Steinhoff, the Coronation's Balanced Plus and Balanced Defensive unit trusts both shrunk by only 3% to R2.7 billion and R1.7 billion from last the quarter, respectively. The Coronation Top 20 fund was hardest hit though. It had a 5.5% exposure to Steinhoff and shaved off 4.1% in assets to R19.5 billion.

Allan Gray leads the pack and holds a market share of 12% in the unit trust market, closely followed by Coronation with 11% and Investec with 8%. 

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