TIMING IMPORTANT: ASB2 launch depends on internal and external economic factors, says PNB chief
Amanah Saham Bumiputera 2 (ASB2), the new RM10 billion unit
trust fund to bolster Bumiputera economic wealth, will be launched in the next few months.
The timing of the launch depends on internal and external economic conditions, said Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman.
It also depends on how fast PNB can tweak related computer systems and obtain authorities’ approvals, although the country’s largest fund manager hopes to unveil it as soon as possible.
“Timing is important so that the uncertain global economic slowdown will not affect the product.
“It will take several months or longer before we can launch ASB2. We have to find a suitable time,” said Hamad Kama Piah at a briefing to announce Amanah Saham 1Malaysia’s income
distribution, here, yesterday.
He was commenting on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s announcement earlier this month on the setting up of ASB2.
The extra 10 billion units in ASB2 are the extension of the popular Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) scheme, which currently has a fund size of some 110 billion units.
Launched in 1990, ASB is arguably the country’s largest unit trust scheme. It is exclusively for Bumiputeras, with a maximum investment of RM200,000 for each investor.
ASB2 is part of the government’s efforts to increase Bumiputera equity ownership in the private sector.
“It is not easy to manage 110 billion units, let alone another 10 billion units. Just imagine the work involved when we announce yearly dividends of seven to eight per cent (for our unit trust schemes). The work load is huge.
“ASB2 will take some time as PNB has to take a look at setting up the computer systems, getting the right approvals from the relevant authorities as well as look at the investment portfolios,” said Hamad Kama Piah.
He did not say if ASB2 will have a similar RM200,000 investment cap.
Hamad Kama Piah said ASB is a product where investors can still get their investments back at a fixed price of RM1 a unit, unlike other unit trusts that sell back below RM1 if the market
“Although some of our unit trust products are not doing well, such as Amanah Saham Gemilang, PNB is not pressured with ASB2, as it is a long-term investment product,” he added.
The fund manager currently has nine unit trust schemes worth over RM160 billion.