by BERNAMA/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
LEMBAGA Tabung Haji (TH) said it has restored its financial health after completing its restructuring plan in May this year by transferring underperforming assets to Syarikat Urusharta Jemaah Sdn Bhd.
Urusharta Jemaah is a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) fully-owned by the government.
TH said before the restructuring, TH’s liabilities exceeded assets by RM10 billion, preventing it from paying hibah to its depositors under the Tabung Haji Act 1995, which states that hibah or dividend cannot be paid if TH’s financial obligations (debts or liabilities) exceed its existing assets.
“The value of the transferred assets should not be seen in isolation, but should be seen in its entirety as the transaction was aimed at rebalancing TH’s total assets and liabilities,” the pilgrims’ fund board said in a statement yesterday.
It said all the assets transferred to the SPV, including a plot of land in the Tun Razak Exchange, were either assets which current value was below the investment cost or assets which did not generate a profit or gave only low returns to TH.
“Although some assets were seen as having value in the future, TH needed to invest a substantial amount for asset development such as for a luxury residential project or a commercial complex which were seen as unsuitable for the current market and risky for the depositors’ fund,” it said.
TH said it had the right of first refusal to regain its assets from Urusharta Jemaah if the assets meet the needs of TH’s business strategy and add value to its depositors.
It added that the sukuk issuance worth RM19.9 billion by Urusharta Jamaah had also given TH returns of 4% or about RM800 million a year.
Meanwhile, TH said it continues to play an active role in the country’s economy including through its portfolio of investment properties via its subsidiaries.
“The performance of TH’s subsidiaries, especially Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd and Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd, has been encouraging,” it said.
It said Bank Islam recorded profit before tax and zakat of RM437 million for the first six months of 2019, up 9.2% over the same period last year.
Meanwhile, Takaful Malaysia posted a new record for the first nine months of this year with a RM322 million profit, an increase of 40% over the same period in 2018.
It added that TH Travel and Services Sdn Bhd continued to be one of the travel agencies of choice for Muslims, serving 1,044 haj and 19,405 umrah pilgrims in 2018.
In addition, it said BIMB Investment Management Bhd introduced the BIMB Shariah ESG Fund, the largest Shariah-ESG fund manager in Malaysia with a current fund size exceeding RM900 million.
“TH will continue to find new investment opportunities and will invest in the appropriate manner taking into account depositors’ risk profiles,” it said.
It said the confidence in TH among Malaysians who have yet to perform their haj remains high, noting that as of end-October, the pilgrims’ fund board had 9.4 million depositors, with the number of depositors who had yet to perform the haj rising to 8.7 million with deposits totalling RM42.6 billion.
“The number of depositors who have registered for haj has also risen, while at the same time more than 50,000 new haj registrations were made in the last three months,” it added.