Pilgrim Funds Give Indonesia Banks Booster Shot: Islamic Finance

Indonesia’s plan to shift 11 trillion rupiah ($1.1 billion) of pilgrim’s savings into Shariah- compliant lenders is a booster-shot that will help narrow the gap with neighboring Malaysia. Deposits set aside by those planning a Hajj visit to Mecca in Saudi Arabia will be shifted by the Ministry of Religious Affairs from non-Islamic banks within a year of announcing the policy. The funds are equivalent to 7.3 percent of the 150.8 trillion rupiah in savings at Islamic lenders, less than a sixth of Malaysia’s 310 billion ringgit ($102 billion). The entire Hajj fund totaled 55 trillion rupiah in March, with about 35 trillion rupiah invested in non-tradable sovereign sukuk and 9 trillion rupiah already placed at Islamic lenders.