Higher yields for EPF from 9MP projects


PUTRAJAYA: The involvement of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pencen (KWAP) in financing the RM15 billion projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) is expected to give a return of between 5.5 and 6.0% to its contributors. 

This is much better than the fixed deposit rate of between 3.0 and 3.25%, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop told reporters after launching KPJ Healthcare Bhd's Islamic real estate investment trust (REIT), here yesterday.  

He said EPF and KWAP would provide the financing for the projects and own the assets, as both had funds which could be put to better use instead of putting them in fixed deposits. 

The Minister was also asked whether the Government would adjust the 2006 economic growth figure as the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) had revised downwards its gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 5.2% from 5.5%.  

Nor Mohamed said the Government will maintain its forecast of between 5.5 and 6.0% and any revision will be announced in the Budget on Sept 1. 

Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop

In his speech at the launching, he said the Al'Aqar REIT issue was in line with the Government's effort to promote and facilitate the initiative to create more instruments and new products in the Islamic capital market. 

To further promote Islamic REITs, he said the Securities Commission (SC) had devised the guidelines for Islamic REITs in 2005. 

The guidelines enable foreign investors especially from West Asia to invest in real estate here without having to own the assets directly. 

He said he expected two or more Islamic REITs to be issued in the next six months. – Bernama

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