by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / pic by TMR FILE
LEMBAGA Tabung Haji (TH) has announced a hibah (dividend) of 3.1% for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2020, slightly higher than the 3.05% it declared in 2019, a sign that its revamp efforts are paying off.
The pilgrim fund’s annual dividend payment hit a historic low of 1.25% in 2018 before more than doubling the following year to 3.05%, after hundreds of its non-performing assets were transferred to Urusharta Jamaah Sdn Bhd for RM19.9 billion at book value.
TH has continued to rejig its portfolio by buying more high-yield dividend stocks and selling more non-performing equities in pursuit of more stable returns.
A check on Bloomberg in October last year showed that TH bought new shares in top dividend payers like Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and MBM Resources Bhd.
All three counters were among the top 50 dividend payers in 2019, with dividend payments of 85 sen, 82 sen and 22 sen a piece respectively.
TH had also invested in healthcare giant Duopharma Biotech Bhd and glove manufacturer Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, which have been making headlines during the pandemic.
It also bought minor stakes in MyEG Services Bhd, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd, Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd and Pos Malaysia Bhd, all likely to announce dividend payouts despite the wild swings in the equity market.
The pilgrim fund’s 2020 profit distribution involved a total payout of RM2.24 billion to all of its nine million depositors against RM2.14 billion in 2019.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al Bakri in a statement yesterday said TH’s financial performance remained positive in 2020 despite uncertainties affecting the global and domestic economic environment.
“Alhamdulillah, TH depositors will be able to enjoy better profits despite facing a relatively soft economy last year,” he said. Total deposits reached RM76.7 billion as at Feb 26, its highest level recorded. TH also made a zakat payment amounting to RM106.2 million for 2020 compared to RM86 million in 2019.
All TH transactions were temporarily unavailable starting from 8pm yesterday until 12noon today to facilitate the profit distribution process.
Depositors may check their account balance after 12noon through the THiJARI mobile application; counters at TH, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd and Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd; and electronic platforms under TH strategic partners, namely Bank Islam, Bank Rakyat, Malayan Banking Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd.