Malaysia’s EPF to launch $29.3b shariah-compliant fund by Jan 2017

EPF website.

Malaysia’s largest pension fund, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) plans to launch its first fully shariah-compliant fund by January 2017 with an initial fund size of up to MYR120 billion ($29.27 billion).

The pension fund’s total investment assets grew to MYR667.56 billion ($162.84 billion) as at September last year, with its total income for the first nine months of last year amounting to MYR31.58 billion ($7.7 billion).

In its portfolio mix, 51 per cent of it comprise of fixed income investments, while 43 per cent is from equities. The remainder is for real estate and infrastructure as well as other investments.

As at Dec 31, 2015, about 40% of its total investments were shariah-compliant.

Interested members may convert their savings to full shariah compliance status on a first come first serve basis, deputy chief executive officer of investments Mohamad Nasir Abdul Latif told a media briefing on Thursday.

In a previous statement, the fund had announced plans to introduce a shariah-compliant option to members by 2017, having ascertained that there is a sufficient supply of shariah-compliant assets in the market.

The fund also plans to dispose its stake in blue chip counter British American Tobacco at the right price, Latif said. It currently holds a 6.7 per cent direct stake in the tobacco firm and owns 0.7 per cent via an external fund manager.

“EPF has historically never invested in gambling stocks or alcohol stocks. In fact, we no longer invest in tobacco stocks. We kept what we had (invested in the past) and at the right time we will exit (from) it,” he said, noting that when the fund sees that the stock has reached its full potential and the price is right, it will dispose its stake.

On the disposal of assets in the United Kingdom, he said EPF has found a suitor for the office buildings it still owns in London.

Latiff added that, even then, EPF was not in a rush to dispose them.

“We are getting good rental income from the properties. But, off course if somebody comes and makes us an irresistible offer (price), I am going to take it and invest the proceeds somewhere else,” he said.

Last year, EPF sold the ‘One Sheldon Square’ office building in London for MYR1.14 billion.

Also read:

Malaysia’s EPF plans to provide varied investment options; sells London property for $318m

Malaysia: EPF records investment income of $2.27b for 3Q15 amid volatile market

Malaysia: EPF considers sale of UK property, seeking right offer

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.