TH declares dividend of 1.25% for 2018

by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) has announced a depositor bonus (hibah) of 1.25% for the financial year 2018, following efforts to restore the state-owned fund’s battered balance sheet.

The hibah – the lowest in the pilgrim fund’s history – amounts to RM913 million and is expected to be distributed to all of its 9.3 million depositors beginning Monday (April 8).

TH was able to declare the hibah after it recorded an asset surplus of RM1 billion, upon the transfer of billions worth of assets to special purpose vehicle Urusharta Jamaah Sdn Bhd.

“Yes, it is the lowest (hibah in TH’s history). But had we not completed the restructuring process, there will be no hibah in 2018,” TH group MD and CEO Datuk Seri Zukri Samat said at a briefing session on TH’s performance review in Putrajaya today.

As at end-2018, TH’s assets stood at RM76.5 billion against liabilities of RM75.5 billion, compared to assets and liabilities of RM70.3 billion and RM74.4 billion respectively in 2017 – a gap of RM4.1 billion.

The restored balance sheet effectively puts the fund in a legal position to pay hibah this year as stipulated in the TH Act 1995. The bylaw prohibits the fund to declare dividend and bonus payments, if the assets slide lower than its liabilities.

Zukri said the RM4.1 billion deficit in 2017 would have ballooned to RM10 billion by end-2018, had it not been addressed. This would eventually result in many years ahead with no dividends to declare, he added.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said the restructuring programme will help TH improve and make better dividends moving forward.

He added the government had committed a maximum of RM17.8 billion for TH’s 10-year sukuk with UJSB to ensure that the entire RM19.9 billion sukuk is redeemed.

“The successful completion of the restructuring plan reflects the government’s determination to rescue TH and protect the interest of all 9.3 million depositors.

“In delivering this commitment, the government will allocate RM500 million in 2020 and subsequently RM1.73 billion per year until all sukuk is redeemed. The total allocation from the government for the 10 years is estimated at RM17.8 billion,” he said.

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