Malaysian pilgrim fund to divest under-performing assets via SPV: Report

Visual from Tabung Haji website

Malaysian pilgrim fund Lembaga Tabung Haji may look to divest its under-performing assets at book value to a special purpose vehicle (SPV), according to a report by The Edge.

The SPV will issue sukuk to raise cash to take over the assets from the pilgrim fund. Subsequently, it will look at ways to recover the value of those assets.

The report said, the move will enable Tabung Haji to close the gap between its assets and liabilities. It also added that the fund’s deposit-taking operations may be moved under the supervision of Bank Negara Malaysia.

Tabung Haji has been in the news for reportedly inflating profits in the last few years to justify paying dividends to contributors.

In July, the pilgrim fund announced the exits of several leaders and appointed former CEO of Islamic financial holding company BIMB Holdings Zukri Samat as the fund’s CEO and former Securities Commission Malaysia executive chairman Mohammed Nor Md Yusof as the its chairman.

Former treasury secretary-general Irwan Serigar Abdullah had also stepped down as Tabung Haji’s board member in May. He is now being charged for criminal breach of trust involving government funds.

Tabung Haji has been said to be invovled in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) corruption scandal, when it bought a plot of land in Tun Razak Exchange, which was viewed as a bailout for 1MDB.

Several police reports have been lodged by the fund since last week against its former chairman Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and then CEOs Ismee Ismail and Johan Abdullah as well as four senior management staff over misuse of funds and wrongful conduct in a corporate deal.

Established in 1963, Tabung Haji is a state-owned fund formed to manage Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca and Madinah. As at 2017, a total of RM73 billion ($18.05 billion) deposits from 9 million depositors are under its management.

Also read:

Malaysian pilgrim fund Tabung Haji announces key departures

Malaysia’s $480m co-investment allocation to go to GLICs, says finance minister

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.