Malaysia Tabung Haji Can Pay Dividend Post Under-Performing Post-Assets Transfer-CEO

© Nikkei Markets

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 15) — Malaysia’s state-run Muslim pilgrimage fund board, Lembaga Tabung Haji, is now is a position to pay dividend after it transferred under-performing assets totalling 19.9 billion ringgit ($4.76 billion) to a special purpose vehicle of the finance ministry, its chief executive said Tuesday. 

“We have completed the transactions, which puts us in a position to pay hibah (dividend) for 2018,” Zukri Samat said at a news conference.

According to a previously stated proposal, Tabung Haji transferred under-performing assets including 106 listed equities, one unlisted plantation company, 29 properties and land to the special purpose vehicle. The company, in turn issued 10 billion ringgit worth of sukuk, or Islamic bonds and 9.9 billion ringgit worth of Islamic redeemable convertible preference shares to Tabung Haji. 

Zukri said moving forward, the fund will focus on its initial objective of assisting Muslim pilgrims to perform the haj. 

The fund will reduce its exposure to equities and aim to maintain 60%-70% of fixed income assets in its portfolio, he added. 

The fund has been in the limelight for allegedly issuing dividends to its depositors since 2014 even as its liabilities exceeded the value of its assets as of the financial year 2017, the Islamic affairs minister had informed the parliament in December.  

– By Gan Pei Ling
– Edited By Abhrajit Gangopadhyay

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