Kuala Lumpur: Lembaga Tabung Haji, a pilgrimage fund that manages some RM28 billion, plans to invest more in property to grow its recurring income base.
It wants properties to account for a quarter of its investments, from 15 per cent now. Its properties are mainly in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Ismee Ismail said Tabung Haji already has properties in Mecca and Madina and is eyeing more in Jeddah, which are all in Saudi Arabia.
"In Jeddah, the projects can be owned by us or via joint ventures unlike in Mecca and Madina where we are not allowed to own property but allowed to lease," Ismee told Business Times recently on the sidelines of the GLC (government-linked companies) Open Day media briefing.
Tabung Haji is reallocating its funds in line with current market conditions.
"We always review our asset allocation because the market is always changing. The share market, for example, can be very vibrant but when it is cool we invest in other instruments," he said.
It wants to invest more in Mecca and Madinah as well as in Europe over the next one to two years.
Tabung Haji currently earns a recurring income from its 25-year lease of the Hajar Towers Hotel in Mecca and the 10-year lease of the Moven Pick Hotel in Madinah, both in Saudi Arabia.
Ismee said the group has been seriously looking at investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia since 2008.
Apart from haj management of 26,000 Malaysian pilgrims every year, Tabung Haji also manages some RM28 billion of savings from some 5.8 million Muslim depositors in the country.
Besides investing in the the stock market and properties, the pilgrims fund also has operations in plantations, travel, construction and owns stakes in KFC Holdings (Malaysia) Bhd, shoemaker Bata, consumer goods giant Unilever, breadmaker Silver Birds Group Bhd and other listed and non-listed companies.
By Business Times