Daily Express

EPF to boost #investments in shariah-compliant private equity funds

The #Malaysian Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is prepared to increase its investments in shariah-compliant private equity (PE) funds. Deputy CEO Datuk Mohamad Nasir Ab Latif said the pension fund has not met its full asset allocation target for its PE segment. He noted that the fund allocated 10% to infrastructure and real estate investment, while PE investment currently stood at 4%, adding that there was a shortage of shariah-compliant funds in the domestic and international markets. He said EPF would continue to invest in both shariah-compliant and conventional funds concurrently. For the second quarter ended June 30, 2017, EPF's shariah-compliant savings accounted for RM820.71 million out of RM11.51 billion of its total investment income, while RM10.69 billion was generated from its conventional savings.

SCC ups #Sukuk scheme to RM3.5 billion

Sabah Credit Corporation (SCC) increased the size of its Sukuk Musharakah programme from RM1.5 billion to RM3.5 billion. According to CEO Datuk Vincent Pung, the move will allow SCC to consolidate outstanding Sukuk issuance and generate an additional RM1 billion for the corporation to plan its future loans growth. Pung also announced i-Cash, a personal loan facility, offering borrowers simplified and online loan processing and the flexibility of drawing the loan. Finance Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman noted that SCC had anticipated a significant drop in profits of RM16 million initially to RM54 million for the year 2016, but instead reported a beyond expectation pre-audited profit of over RM60 million as of December 2016. He said the corporation has also donated over RM23 million through more than 150 Corporate Social Responsibility projects such as rural hostels, orphanages, half-way homes and centres for single mothers.

Mohammad Faiz new Islamic Finance Consultative Group Chairman

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has appointed Datuk Mohammad Faiz Azmi as chairman of the Islamic Finance Consultative Group. Commenting on his appointment, Mohammad Faiz said he hoped to be able to continue the good work of the IASB in the area of global finance. He appreciates IASB's commitment in helping the emerging markets adopt their International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst said Mohammad Faiz had always been a valued member of the IFRS community and is renowned for his expertise in Islamic Finance.

SME Bank targets 90pc Islamic financing portfolio

Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Bhd (SME Bank) is getting closer to reaching its target of turning into a full-fledged shariah development finance institution (DFI) with its Islamic financing portfolio now standing at 86.5 per cent amounting to RM4.31 billion. The target is to achieve 90 per cent Islamic financing portfolio by December 2015. When SME Bank was set up in October 2005, the Islamic financing portfolio was only 15 per cent. Group managing director, Datuk Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus, said convincing customers to switch to Islamic financing was not a major challenge. SME Bank, through its unit, Centre for Entrepreneur Research and Development Sdn Bhd, and Islamic Banking and Finance Institute of Malaysia, developed and conducted the Chartered Islamic Development Banker programme.

Takaful eyes above-average contribution growth

Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd expects contributions in 2015 to grow faster than the industry average of 11 per cent, said Group Managing Director Datuk Seri Mohamed Hassan Kamil. He said the business trend and success rate in securing new customers look positive compared to the previous year especially in the Employee Benefit business, which has seen a shift from conventional to Takaful insurance. The group expects about 20 per cent growth in contributions for employee benefit from RM300 million registered last year, and aims to secure up to 600,000 policy holders, up from 400,000 recorded in 2014, said Mohamed Hasan. For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2014, the group's profit after tax grew three per cent to RM138.7 million from RM134.4 million in the previous year, while revenue decreased by 3.5 per cent to RM1.65 billion.

Takaful operators must work together: Hong Leong

There will always be a need for takaful, however, takaful operators must work together to aggressively promote the product to the public, said Hong Leong MSIG Takaful Bhd. Chief Executive Officer Wan Mohd Fadzullah Wan Abdullah said it was imperative to educate the public that takaful was an all-weather financial planning tool. While the growth of takaful has been at a faster rate compared to conventional insurance, Wan Mohd Fadzullah said the volume was still low. Sri Lanka-based Amana Takaful Life Chief Executive Officer, Reyaz Jeffrey said one effective way of promoting takaful awareness, was through agency channels.

Bank Muamalat to increase total deposits by up to 20pc this year

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd plans to grow its total deposits by up to 20 per cent this year from RM15 billion at present by diversifying its depositor base. Chief Executive Officer Datuk Mohd Redza Shah Abdul Wahid said the bank was aggressively diversifying its depositor base through the "Oh Yeah Deposit Campaign" as well as working with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and business chambers. On overseas ventures, he said the bank was exploring opportunities for tie-ups with Islamic banks in Asean countries which were expected to take place in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, Chief Operating Officer Asri Awang said Bank Muamalat of optimistic of a loans growth of 15 per cent this year from its current financing base of RM11 billion.

Etiqa Takaful Bhd crossed RM 1 bn in premiums

Etiqa Takaful Bhd recorded for the financial year ended June 30 last year a premium of RM 1.044 bn. It is the first takful company to cross this level and the largest in the world. Currently, the company has about a million policy holders.

Mohd Tarmidzi Ahmad Nordin is Chief Executive Officer.

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