Malaysia’s RM500m 1st digital sukuk launched

The Sukuk Prihatin is part of the Penjana initiative launched by the govt to tackle issues faced during the Covid-19 pandemic

by RAHIMI YUNUS/ pic by BERNAMA

THE government has launched the country’s first digital Islamic bond, Sukuk Prihatin, as one of the initiatives under the short-term Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana).

The Shariah-compliant bond has a total target issuance of RM500 million with a maturity period of two years. The minimum initial investment of RM500 is required with a profit rate of 2% per annum for two years.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the launch of Sukuk Prihatin is in response to the people’s desire to help the government rebuild the economy.

“I was moved when informed that the government has received many offers from honest and sincere people who want to support the government’s efforts to revive the country’s economy,” he said at the launch in Putrajaya yesterday.

According to the Muhyiddin, the subscription from Sukuk Prihatin would be channelled into the Covid-19 Consolidated Fund.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the 2% per annum rate is competitive as it is locked for two years.

“Profits will be credited quarterly into the investor’s account. Within two years, investors have the option to donate the subscription amount to the Covid-19 Fund and this amount will enjoy a tax deduction,” said Tengku Zafrul.

The Sukuk Prihatin can be fully subscribed or invested through digital banking platforms, utilising JomPAY and DuitNow facilities.

He added that the proceeds of the sukuk will be used for “recovery” initiatives, the fourth stage under the Penjana’s 6R strategy, which features six stages namely Resolve, Resilience, Restart, Recovery, Revitalise and Reform.

He said the sukuk is expected to facilitate efforts to ensure the wellbeing of targeted stakeholders and it has been established following requests by various parties to contribute towards the recovery efforts of the nation.

“InsyaAllah, with this sukuk issuance and also support from our fellow rakyat with a patriotic and nationalistic spirit, Malaysia can recover quickly to enable the continuous sharing of our prosperity,” he said.

At the event, Tengku Zafrul expressed appreciation to Bank Negara Malaysia, Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd and the banking institutions that have participated as distributors, particularly the Malayan Banking Bhd as the main distributor bank.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak in Malaysia, Putrajaya has rolled out various economic stimulus packages namely Prihatin, Prihatin SME Plus and Penjana with cumulatively valued at RM295 billion.

These packages also include the government’s direct fiscal injection of RM45 billion. Tengku Zafrul said among the direct beneficiaries of the financial aids were 10.6 million recipients of Bantuan Prihatin Nasional in the bottom 40% and middle 40% groups who had received assistance amounting to RM11.1 billion; 321,000 employers and 2.6 million employees who have benefitted from wage subsidies worth RM7.8 billion; and 545,000 micro entrepreneurs who had received the Geran Khas Prihatin with a total value of RM1.6 billion. The implementation of the measures have saved almost 2.8 million jobs and benefitted 800,000 businesses, he added.

Another measure that has benefitted the rakyat and businesses included the loan payment moratorium from the banking sector which is valued at RM66.6 billion thus far.

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