Kenya has several Money Market Funds (MMFs) that offer attractive interest rates for investors.
However, with so many options available, knowing which fund is the best for you can be challenging.
This article will compare several of the most popular MMFs in Kenya and help you decide the best one for your needs.
Related: 10 Best Shares To Buy in Kenya.
What are Money Market Funds in Kenya?
A money market fund is an investment fund that invests in debt securities with maturities of less than one year.
The investments are typically made in short-term instruments, such as government bonds, Treasury bills, commercial paper, Cash equivalent securities, and certificates of deposit.
Money market funds are low-risk investments that aim to preserve capital and generate income. Investors typically use them for parking cash in a liquid and safe investment.
In Kenya, Money market funds are regulated by the Capital markets authority (CMA).
Why Invest in MMFs in Kenya?
You might want to invest in money market funds for several reasons.
Safety: Money market funds are considered some of the safest investments available. This is because they invest in short-term debt instruments backed by the government’s full faith and credit or other entities.
Liquidity: Money market funds are very liquid, meaning you can easily convert them into cash. This makes them a good option for investors who need to access their money quickly.
Yield: Money market funds offer relatively higher yields than safe investments, such as savings accounts. This makes them a good option for investors looking for a higher return on their investment.
Tax Advantages: Investments in money market funds are generally taxed lower than other investments, such as stocks and bonds.
Read Also Leading Investment Companies in Kenya.
What to Look for When Choosing MMFs in Kenya
When choosing a money market fund, there are several things you should keep in mind.
The portfolio is the collection of investments that make up the fund. You should look at the portfolio to see what kind of debt instruments the fund invests in.
Of course, you will want to choose a fund with a high yield. The yield is the interest you can expect to earn on your investment.
It would be best to compare yields between different money market funds to find the one that offers the best return.
All investment funds charge expenses typically taken out of the fund’s assets. It would be best to compare the expense ratios of different money market funds to find the one with the lowest fees.
All investments come with some risk, even money market funds. It would help if you considered the risks associated with the different types of debt instruments the fund invests in before deciding to invest.
The return is the amount you can expect to earn on your investment over time. Money market funds typically have lower returns than other investments, such as stocks and bonds.
Most money market funds have a minimum investment amount, the minimum amount you must invest to open an account.
You should compare the minimum investment requirements of different money market funds before deciding to invest.
The expense ratio is the amount the fund charges in fees and expenses as a percentage of its assets. It would help if you looked for a fund with a low expense ratio to keep more of your money.
The Capital Markets Authority must approve all money market funds in Kenya. This ensures that the fund is legitimate and regulated.
Ease of Access
Some funds are only available through certain brokers or financial institutions. You will want to choose an accessible fund to access and invest in.
Be sure to check what fees the fund charges before investing. Some funds charge entry or exit fees, while others have management fees.
Check the fund’s website for more information on these and other factors before investing.
Also, read How to Buy Shares in Kenya
What are the Best Money Market Funds in Kenya?
Now that you know what to look for in a money market fund, we will compare some of the best ones available in Kenya.
1. Zimele Money Market Fund
The Zimele fund is flexible, and convenient and allows you to save according to your choice. In other terms, it’s also called a ‘savings plan.’
Zimele pools members’ contributions and invests them in safe high-yielding interest-bearing assets such as Treasury bills, Treasury bonds, and fixed deposits
The Capital Market Authority (CMA) licenses and regulates Zimele.
Features and Benefits:
- You require a minimum deposit of Ksh. 100
- The fund offers competitive interest rates,, and enhanced generally keeps the funds safe.
- There are no hidden charges while dealing with this fund.
- You can use M-Pesa for deposits (pay bill number 501101) and withdrawals.
- The interest is compounded annually.
- You can request online statements.
- No minimum balance requirement
The Zimele Savings Plan is Ideal for the following:
- Building up savings for emergencies.
- Building up savings for groups and investment clubs (Chamas).
- Build up savings for your children’s needs, such as education, childcare, healthcare, etc.
- You are managing your Business’s surplus funds.
- You save money for short-term financial needs such as holidays, household goods, etc.
- Saving for long-term goals such as weddings.
2. Sanlam Money Market Fund
The fund aims to deliver a higher income than average banks’ fixed deposit accounts.
Sanlam, like many others, invests in money market securities, including higher-yielding
fixed and call deposits, treasury bills, and investment-grade commercial paper.
The maturity of this specific fund is usually less than one year after investing in money market instruments.
Benefits of Sanlam fund
- The fund gives higher returns as opposed to banks’ fixed deposits.
- Sanlam cautions clients against market volatility.
- The fund is advantageous if you want to save for an emergency later or a ‘nest egg.’
3. CIC Money Market Fund
The CIC Money Market fund is a low-risk fund that invests in diversified near cash, interest-bearing instruments in the Kenyan market.
The fund invests in high-quality interest-bearing investments, fixed deposits, and near-cash holdings in the Kenyan Market.
If you are an investor looking for a place to store away low-risk funds, this is the fund for you.
Key benefits of the CIC money market fund
- Liquidity: You can withdraw your funds at short notice without penalty fees.
- Flexibility: You can switch or transfer funds to another fund that you may have with CICAM.
- Security: The fund invests in government paper and liquid instruments.
- Competitive Returns: Interest is calculated daily and credited at the end of each month—the fund benefits from placing deposits in large sums to negotiate competitive rates.
- Professional fund management: Clients benefit from seasoned professionals with expertise in the sector.
4. Cytonn Money Market Fund
Cytonn Money Market Fund (CMMF) is your ideal investment plan if you are looking to save up to meet your goals soon.
CMMF invests in high-quality interest-bearing investments, fixed deposits, and near-cash holdings in the Kenyan market.
Features of the Cytonn fund
- No entry or exit fee is charged if you decide to start investing in this fund.
- Your initial starting capital will remain safe.
- The rates are based on the current market; they are highly competitive.
- For first-time investors, it is pretty easy to start.
5. Britam Money Market Fund in Kenya
Britam Money Market is your ideal market fund to invest the cash you need to save for short-term goals.
These short-term goals may include school fees, wedding savings, construction projects, holiday planning Chama investments, car/mortgage/land deposits, and family welfare funds.
Britam’s fund requirements are pretty simple. This include
- To start investing, it would be best to have a mobile phone, a national I.D. card/Passport, and Ksh 1,000 on your MPesa account.
- You will manage all account features on your phone; this includes deposits, withdrawals, and investments.
- Clients can also top up your account anytime using your MPesa account.
6. CBA Group Money Market Fund in Kenya
The CBA fund invests in fixed deposits, interest-bearing investments, and near-cash holdings in the Kenyan market.
If you are a low-risk investor, then this CBA fund is definitely for you, especially if you prefer stability and security simultaneously. It is also ideal during times of stock market turbulence.
- No joining fee is required.
- Interest is calculated daily and credited to the client’s account monthly.
- To maximize investment returns, one can reinvest into the fund.
- Ksh. 5,000 is the minimum investment for each CBA unit of Trusts Funds.
- Ksh. 5,000 is the minimum additional investment amount.
- A service fee of 2% P.A. Applies.
See also Top 10 Registered Stockbrokers in Kenya
Summary: Money Market Funds in Kenya
The following data was published by Business daily in October last year.
|Rank||Fund Manager||Daily Yield||Effective Annual Rate|
|1||Cytonn Money Market Fund||10.00%||10.52%|
|2||Zimele Money Market Fund||9.56%||9.91%|
|3||Sanlam Money Market Fund||8.86%||9.27%|
|4||Nabo Africa Money Market Fund||8.83%||9.23%|
|5||CIC Money Market Fund||8.71%||9.02%|
|6||Madison Money Market Fund||8.62%||9.00%|
|7||Apollo Money Market Fund||9.10%||8.95%|
|8||Dry Associates Money Market Fund||8.33%||8.65%|
|9||Co-op Money Market Fund||8.30%||8.65%|
|10||GenCapHela Imara Money Market Fund||8.19%||8.53%|
|11||British-American Money Market Fund||8.16%||8.47%|
|12||ICEA Lion Money Market Fund||8.01%||8.34%|
|13||NCBA Money Market Fund||8.02%||8.33%|
|14||Orient Kasha Money Market Fund||7.84%||8.16%|
|15||Old Mutual Money Market Fund||7.02%||7.25%|
|16||AA Kenya Shillings Fund||6.51%||6.71%|
Source: Business Daily