KUALA LUMPUR: Pelaburan MARA Bhd (PMB), the investment agency of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), plans to explore the Indonesian market next year, says its group chief executive officer (CEO), Nik Mohamed Zaki Nik Yusoff.
"We are still in the early planning stage and is currently looking at investing especially in Shariah-compliant equities on the Jakarta Stock Exchange (JSE)," he said.
For its first investment, Nik Mohamed Zaki said the investment would be made for its holding company, in a bid to seek experience on the market situation there.
"When we already have the experience in the next one, two years, we will re-examine the market and may be able to launch unit trust products that are suitable for the region," he told the media in conjunction with the launch of ASM Shariah Cash Management Fund (ASM SCMF), here on Thursday.
He said besides Indonesia, the company also sees similar potential in Middle East countries but these would be done in from time to time.
Asked when the investment would be made, he said: "The investment (to be made) in JSE may be made in the next three months, although all these are still in the early discussion stage." From an investment perspective, he said PMB will invest about 10 per cent or some RM22 million of shareholders' funds.
Meanwhile, ASM Investment Services Bhd CEO Ameer Ali Mohamed said the launch of the new fund, previously ASM Syariah Money Market Fund, was following the company's efforts to strengthen and activate the fund, besides giving the best returns to investors.
Among the features of ASM CMF are the annual fees are lowered to 0.4 per cent compared with 0.5 per cent previously, while charges are not imposed on sales and purchases, thus allowing investors to buy and sell units at net asset value per unit.
"Looking at the current situation and returns achieved last year as well as the reduction in fees, we expect the rate of return for the fund to be around 2.7 per cent per year," he said.
Meanwhile, Ameer Ali said the company is now taking efforts to convert all its conventional funds to Shariah-compliant before the end of next year.
"This is in line with our aspiration to make ASM Investment a Shariah-compliant management company towards 2014," he said.
ASM Investment is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PMB and currently manages 14 unit trust funds. - Bernama