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ART INDUSTRY

Creatives eye listing at NSE to diversify revenue

In Summary

• If successful, the ETF will be second at the exchange after Barclays Bank launched and listed NewGold ETF in 2017, and the first art ETF globally.

• Access to finance has been the biggest challenge towards growing the industry. This especially, after the introduction of the interest rate caps in 2016.

Wabunii Sacco CEO Roy Gitahi and Mwasia Mutua,a Director in the board of the National Authority for the Campaign Against alcohol Drug Abuse during a press briefing on the Art and Finance conference 2019.
ART AND FINANCE Wabunii Sacco CEO Roy Gitahi and Mwasia Mutua,a Director in the board of the National Authority for the Campaign Against alcohol Drug Abuse during a press briefing on the Art and Finance conference 2019.
Image: VICTOR IMBOTO

Kenya could soon have its first art Exchange Traded Fund listed if a deal between artists and the Nairobi Securities Exchange works out.

A Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the creation of the ETF is set to be signed on Thursday at the first Art and Finance conference in the country.

The partnership will be between Art at Work and the NSE.

Speaking to creatives yesterday, Wabunii Sacco Chief Executive Officer, Roy Gitahi said the product ready but is awaiting approval by the Capital Markets Authority.

If successful, the ETF will be second at the exchange after Barclays Bank launched and listed NewGold ETF in 2017, and the first art ETF globally.

Just like NewGold ETF which enables investors to invest in the real-time value of Gold through an instrument similar to stocks, the art ETF is expected to take a similar route.

According to Kanyi Ohawa, a creative in the stationery sector, access to finance has been the biggest challenge towards growing the industry. This especially, after the introduction of the interest rate caps in 2016.

“Young people are the creatives they do not have buildings, logbooks, receivable to act as collateral, but they have their art,” she said

wabunii Sacco CEO Roy Gitahi adressing creatives during the Art and Finance Conference Press briefing.
wabunii Sacco CEO Roy Gitahi adressing creatives during the Art and Finance Conference Press briefing.
Image: VICTOR IMBOTO

Speaking to the Star, Director of Culture at the Ministry of Sports and Cultural Heritage, Kiprop Lagat confirmed to have directed the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics to carry out a census and gather details on all artist in the country.

During the two day conference, Stanbic Bank will also ink a deal to facilitate the Creative Economy through Wabunii Sacco. The Sacco, unlike its peers, uses art, music, Intellectual property as collateral for loans to lend to artists.

The aim is to create an alternative form of investment and grow the Arts sector's contribution to global sales up to 10 per cent over the next 10 years.

Currently, Africa contributes less than 0.5 per cent of global art sales, which was valued at $50 billion in 2017. The demand for Modern and Contemporary African Art has been growing, with a number of auction houses predicting that it will be the next big thing in the next five years.

According to Deputy Director of Youth Programs, in the Presidency Walter Mong'are said its time creatives shift seeking help from an emotional perspective to what they contribute to the Gross Domestic Product.

“There are enough and credible policies and frameworks supporting art. The question is how proactive are we in implementing the policies,” he said.

In 2017, the government passed the Immovable Properties Act, giving artists the opportunity to borrow loans against their paintings.