(PICTURE ON TOP): Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) group managing director and CEO Zukri Samat (L) speaks during a special press conference on the progress of the TH’s turnaround plan at TH Tower January 19. Also present was chairman of the TH Risk, Audit and Governance Committee Datuk Zaiton Mohd Hassan. / Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR: Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) is in a position to pay hibah (dividend) to its 9.3 million depositors for 2018, having restored its balance sheet, mainly with the transfer of 106 underperforming listed domestic equities to special-purpose vehicle (SPV), Urusharta Jamaah Sdn Bhd.
Group managing director and CEO Datuk Seri Zukri Samat said the transfers were deemed completed as at Dec 31, 2018.
“The amount (hibah) will depend on our financial performance based on the profits that we can generate for 2019. But, do not expect too much for 2018 as we have just completed the transactions,“ he told a media briefing on the progress of the TH’s turnaround plan, here today (January 15, 2019).
In 2017, TH declared a hibah payout of 4.50% and a bonus of 1.75% to the depositors.
Zukri said TH had received its lawyer’s confirmation that all transfer of assets, which also included an unlisted plantation company and 20 properties and lands, had been signed and all rights had been novated. He added that the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) land had been sold to the government at a premium price.
“To the questions on why TH transfers some of the assets to the SPV, the answer is that if nothing is done we cannot pay hibah for many years to come,“ he pointed out.
The 106 underperforming listed domestic assets are mainly from the plantation, oil and gas, property, and construction sectors, of which TH has no controlling blocks. The underperforming stocks have the highest unrealised loss of 96.5% with the top 10 losers accounted for almost RM4.6 billion of unrealised loss.
To enhance transparency in the future, Zukri said the pilgrims fund board would provide quarterly updates on its financial performance beginning the first quarter of 2019.
He noted that TH would look at its asset allocation in order to be more prudent in its investments, with focus on fixed income.
“We are not a fund manager, our role is to administer the funds. I think the focus of investments should change. We will certainly look at new asset allocation on fixed income rather than equity where we will have a steady stream of returns,“ he added.