Tabung Haji sets aside RM2bil to invest in UK, Australian properties

Tabung Haji corporate logo AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star (4/2/2016)

PUTRAJAYA: Lembaga Tabung Haji (Tabung Haji) will allocate RM2bil for real estate investments in the UK and Australia for the next three years.

Group managing director/chief executive officer Datuk Seri Johan Abdullah said this investment strategy would ensure Tabung Haji of recurring income in the future.

“We haven’t made any final decisions yet. We have identified a building which would be able to provide 8% returns yearly,” he said.

Tabung Haji would also be focussing on concessional projects for 2017, especially those which involved the government in relation to infrastructure, in order to strengthen the fund’s acquisitions in the future. 

“We are also in the midst of strengthening our involvement in syariah-compliant hotels, which includes the Tabung Haji’s hotel and complex in Sepang which will be completed soon,” he said during the announcement on the 2016 income distribution (hibah) for Tabung Haji’s depositors in Putrajaya on Friday.

He said the RM400mil Tabung Haji’s complex in Sepang, scheduled to be completed early next year, would replace the current complex in Kelana Jaya.

“We are aiming for the complex to be ready for use as a departure point for the haj pilgrims before they leave for their flights.

“The complex will also function as a four-star hotel to members of the public,” he said.

Johan said Tabung Haji also planned to redevelop the complex in Kelana Jaya.

“We are currently exploring the complex’s development potentials, but not as a hotel because we don’t think that the area is suitable,” he said. 

Earlier, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, announced the distribution of RM2.88bil in hibah to Tabung Haji’s depositors, which included 4.25% yearly hibah and an additional 1.5% hibah for those who have not performed their haj for the 2016 financial year.

Last year, Tabung Haji announced a 5% yearly hibah, as well as an additional three per cent hibah for depositors who had not performed their haj in 2015 financial year, to the tune of RM3.22bil. 

Jamil Khir said the hibah would be distributed to 9.1 million depositors and the additional haj hibah would be distributed to 8.5 million depositors who have not performed their haj. 

“In calculating the hibah, we had taken into account the 2.5% business zakat contribution for 2016 for Tabung Haji, which amounted to RM60.3mil. 

“The Tabung Haji’s collective depositors savings fund for 2016, prior to the distribution of hibah, had amounted to RM64.8bil, an increase of 4% compared to RM62.5bil in 2015,” he said. 

He said Tabung Haji had recorded a decrease in earnings in 2016 because it had received a one-off dividend from the sales of a plantation in Indonesia worth RM874mil and a building in London for RM290mil in 2015. 

“The depreciation of the ringgit against the US dollar, the falling palm oil and crude oil prices as well as the slow global economic growth also had an adverse effect on the earnings for other fund managers,” he said. 

On another note, Jamil Khir said, this year, the subsidy for haj was expected to increase by 25% to the tune of RM200mil compared to RM160mil last year.

“This is due to the Saudi Arabia government’s decision to reinstate the original quota of 27,900 haj pilgrims, compared to 22,320 previously. 

He said the Government’s overall subsidy for the haj since 2007 to 2017 was expected to be over RM1.1bil. -  Bernama

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