An Investor’s Guide to Islamic Funds
November 3, 2009

RHB Investment Management Sdn Bhd’s Managing Director, Sharifatul Hanizah Said Ali, covers the basics of Islamic funds, from the important facts that every investor should know, to its performance during the subprime crisis.
Author : iFAST Content Team

Islamic funds in Malaysia have been widely accepted by both Muslim and non-Muslim investors who find its ethically conscious concept appealing, and see it as a viable alternative to conventional instruments for growing their money.
In an interview with the iFAST Content Team, RHB Investment Management Sdn Bhd’s Managing Director Sharifatul Hanizah Said Ali says that the outlook for the local Islamic fund management industry is positive.
“Looking at the increasing number of products being developed and launched to satisfy the growing appetite for these products, and the expanding acceptance for Islamic products indicates that the Shariah-driven financial system is here to stay,” she shares.
According to the Securities Commission’s statistics (as at end-July 2009), 143 out of the 541 funds launched in the country are Islamic-based funds. Islamic funds have grown at a steady rate from the 63 funds available in 2004.
Sharifatul Hanizah also foresees that a future trend for the industry would include domestic Islamic funds expanding their investment universe into the regional markets as it continues to emulate and play catch-up with the conventional fund management industry.
In this article, she explains the basics of Islamic funds, its attraction and performance during the subprime crisis.
The Basics
The whole idea about Islamic funds, according to Sharifatul Hanizah is that the money in the fund is sourced from a pool of investors with the purpose of investing in Shariah-approved investments, such as equities, bonds or index funds, to earn halal profits.
“The fund is managed by a professional management company in accordance to Shariah principles, which states that there shall be no investing into investments or companies that are involved in interest generating, gaming, liquor or other activities that are frowned upon,” she explains.
Investors should be aware that with Islamic funds, risks and rewards are shared and the fund’s return is tied to the actual profit earned or loss suffered. There is no principal or specific profit guaranteed. Similar to conventional funds, Islamic funds are safeguarded by trustees and statutory controls.
Islamic funds are overseen and governed by a group of Islamic scholars – the Shariah Advisers – who are in charge of due diligence and the establishment of the Islamic investment policy for the specific fund. “Their sources for interpretation are from the Quran (words of Allah verbatim to Prophet Muhammad), the Hadith (rules from the Prophet’s sayings and actions), and Qiyas (scholarly legal deductions) and Ijma (consensus from scholars of a particular issue),” shares Sharifatul Hanizah.
Another misconception about Islamic funds, albeit a rapidly dissipating one, is that Islamic funds are only for Muslims. In fact, Islamic funds are for all types of investors regardless of their religious beliefs. Investments should be based on one’s investment horizon, objectives and risk appetite and there are many products, Islamic and conventional, available in the market that cater to these specific requirements.
Islamic Plus Points
Sharifatul Hanizah says that apart from fulfilling the needs of Muslims, one clear advantage of Islamic funds to investors regardless of their faith is that securities selected for Islamic investments adopt ethical investing principles.
“Investors can take comfort knowing that the securities selected have gone through a screening process that emphasises on a healthy balance sheet. The process covers a comprehensive financial ratio screening including gearing level. One key factor why the [investment bank] Lehman Brothers failed is that the company was geared up to 50 times of its capital, thus posing excessive risks to depositors, as well as to the bank itself,” she notes.
However, Islamic funds are not without risks. Risk sharing is a fundamental tenet of Islamic finance as the profit and loss is shared between the parties involved in a financial transaction. It is also a requirement that each financial transaction be tied to a physical or identifiable underlying asset.
“Thus, investors of an Islamic funds can be assured that the securities selected in the fund represent companies whose activities are tangible and contribute to the real economy,” says Sharifatul Hanizah.
During the Crisis
One of the reasons why Islamic funds have garnered attention during the subprime crisis is that its Shariah-compliant nature ensured minimal exposure to the badly-hit financial sector.
However, Sharifatul Hanizah says that not much difference in the performance of the conventional and Shariah funds were seen during the recent crisis.
She explains that this is because the FTSE Bursa Malaysia (FBM) Shariah Index performance benchmark is more volatile at 1.1 times the performance of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI), due to the higher weightings of plantation stocks (in the absence of financials) which are usually higher beta stocks.
“Therefore, during the crisis the FBM Shariah Index declined more, at 46.8%, compared to the FBM KLCI’s decline of 42%. Likewise, during the current recovery period, post the market bottom in October 2008, the FBM Shariah Index recovered at a faster rate of 1.1 times of the conventional benchmark of FBM KLCI,” Sharifatul Hanizah notes. The FBM Shariah Index had gained 39.9% against FBM KLCI’s 36.3% from 1 November 2008 to mid-September 2009.
The iFAST Content Team is a division of iFAST Capital Sdn Bhd.

Motivation 006

Bersedia Untuk Bersara?

Malaysians less confident about preparing for retirement

LOTS of working adults are paralysed when it comes to planning for retirement. Most people will delay this as long as they can, possibly due to their lack of knowledge about financial matters.
Generally, the more knowledgeable an individual, the more confident he is in taking control of his financial destiny, which usually is about securing a comfortable retirement.
A recent study by the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute in the United States found that only 13% of Americans said they were confident of a comfortable retirement – drastically reduced from 27% in 2007.

Figures in Malaysia show a similar sentiment. The AXA Life Outlook Index findings for 2009 indicate that Malaysians’ satisfaction with their preparation for retirement has dropped. In 2007, 23% were confident about their retirement years, but this has since dipped to 14%.
While many working Malaysians are reasonably financially literate, certain groups are less so and therefore less confident in managing their finances. This is a worry considering that the elderly make up an increasingly large proportion of our society.
Demographic and socio-economic forecasting provider Global Demographics Ltd forecasts senior citizens (those 50 years and above) to increase from 15% to 25% of the total Malaysian population over the next 20 years.
As the Malaysian population ages and retirement looms for many, the issue of financial literacy in a retirement planning context has become particularly salient.
Abacus for Money chief executive officer Carol Yip says that there is no single product or solution available to guarantee one’s comfortable retirement.
She notes that the main asset likely to be available to most working Malaysians upon their retirement is their Employees Provident Fund contribution.
Other assets may include property, shares, unit trusts, term deposits, inheritance, insurance, government pension as well as emerging private pension funds.
Yip asserts that individuals must increase their level of financial literacy so that they can go cherry-picking from the wide array of products available in order to ensure a comfortable retirement.
Besides the usual means of consulting financial planners and reading financial magazines to improve financial literacy, Yip calls upon employers to provide training to their staff in order to empower them with financial knowledge to plan their future.
Yip also encourages retirees who are in the early stage of retirement to equip themselves with financial knowledge in order to wisely invest their money so as to protect it from inflation as well as to provide recurring income over the medium term.
The senior citizen population of 50 and above in Malaysia as well as regionally is said to be rapidly expanding into a large, affluent market.
MasterCard Asia Pacific, in a study, estimates that the spending power of the retired population in Malaysia to exceed US$10bil (RM35bil) by 2015 – more than double the figure from 10 years before.
Madam Chong (not her real name), 56, who recently retired but is still an active investor with a moderate risk profile, was looking to diversify her portfolio.
The ideal product that she is looking for is one that can offer recurring income with double-digit returns annually, monthly or quarterly. It should also be capital-guaranteed as well as easy to liquidate with no penalties over five to ten years.
“I was prepared to consider regional investments with a slightly higher risk,” she says.
After looking around, she discovers that there are no such products that meet all her criteria except for two that offer returns between 6% and 7% per annum, but require high deposits of RM250,000.
“There are a couple of insurance companies that offer returns of about 4% annually with smaller deposits,” Chong says.
Given the current economic uncertainty and the absence of investment products specifically catering for retirees, Chong reiterates the need for retirees to be financially savvy instead of just depending on advice from third parties to manage their wealth.
* Dipetik dari The Star 22 Ogos 2009

Harta Pusaka Kecil

Baru baru ini telah diumumkan tentang nilai maksima harta pusaka yang berada di dalam kelompok Harta Pusaka Kecil. Jumlahnya ditambah dari RM600 ribu ke RM2 juta. Seharusnya, perkara ini sudah pasti akan memudahkan ramai orang untuk menyelesaikan tuntutan harta pusaka.
Namun, sebagai seorang Perancang Harta Pusaka Islam, pada pendapat saya Perancangan Harta Pusaka secara teratur semasa kita masih hidup masih lagi jalan yang terbaik untuk memudahkan waris-waris kita untuk membuat tuntutan apabila mereka kita tinggalkan kelak.

Motivation 005

Pengurusan Harta Pusaka

Hak Muslim: Mohon surat kuasa tadbir, sijil faraid serentak permudah tuntut harta

SAYA ialah anak lelaki sulung daripada lima beradik. Pada Julai lalu, bapa meninggal dan kemudian saya ke pejabat tanah untuk memfailkan permohonan pembahagian harta pusaka. Saya diberitahu supaya memfailkan LA di Mahkamah Tinggi kerana pejabat tanah tidak mempunyai kuasa terhadap aset arwah bapa melebihi RM600,000. Apakah LA? Bagaimanakah proses untuk mendapatkannya? Bilakah pula saya perlu memohon sijil faraid.

Halim, Kuala Trengganu.

Undang-undang yang diguna pakai untuk mentadbir harta pusaka umat Islam ialah Akta Probet dan Pentadbiran 1959 (Akta 97) bagi harta pusaka RM600,00 ke atas dan Akta Harta Pusaka Kecil (Pembahagian) 1955 (Akta 98) bagi harta kurang RM600,000.

LA ialah singkatan kepada letter of administration atau surat kuasa mentadbir. Permohonan surat ini perlu dibuat di Mahkamah Tinggi Sivil kerana harta pusaka arwah bapa anda melebihi RM600,000.

Menurut Aturan 30 Akta 97, surat kuasa mentadbir diberikan kepada sesiapa yang mempunyai kepentingan terhadap harta itu. Permohonan boleh dibuat anda sebagai anak sulung atau bersama ahli waris lain mengikut persetujuan keluarga seperti diperuntukkan mengikut Aturan 41 Akta 97 yang membenarkan sehingga maksimum empat pentadbir.

Jika ada waris mengalami kecacatan otak dan tidak berupaya menguruskan diri, permohonan pelantikan sahabat wakil (guardian ad-litem) perlu dibuat bersama permohonan surat kuasa mentadbir.

Langkah pertama yang perlu diambil ialah mendapatkan sijil kematian asal bapa di Pejabat Pendaftaran Negara, membuat salinan kad pengenalan waris yang masih hidup, salinan dokumen berkaitan dengan harta pusaka si mati seperti geran tanah, perjanjian jual beli, kad pendaftaran kenderaan, penyata akaun dan sebarang penyata hutang si mati.

Menurut Aturan 71 Kaedah-Kaedah Mahkamah Tinggi permohonan surat kuasa harus difailkan bersama dokumen berikut:

  • Petisyen untuk surat kuasa mentadbir.
  • Senarai aset dan liabiliti si mati.
  • Afidavit pengesahan pempetisyen.
  • Surat penolakan waris yang tidak menjadi pentadbir.
  • Sumpah pentadbiran.
  • Notis pelantikan peguam jika diwakili.

Selepas permohonan difailkan, mahkamah menetapkan tarikh pendengaran di hadapan Penolong Kanan Pendaftar dan anda sebagai pemohon perlu hadir pada hari pendengaran itu.

Lebih menjimatkan masa jika permohonan surat kuasa mentadbir dan sijil faraid dibuat serentak, kerana kedua-dua permohonan itu dalam bidang kuasa mahkamah berlainan. Surat kuasa mentadbir di Mahkamah Tinggi Sivil, manakala sijil faraid di Mahkamah Syariah.

Namun, jika isteri si mati berhasrat menuntut harta sepencarian di Mahkamah Syariah, tuntutan perlu diselesaikan dulu sebelum harta pusaka difaraidkan.

Seksyen 35(2) Akta Probet Pentadbiran 1959, memperuntukkan sebelum surat kuasa mentadbir (geran) dikeluarkan, pentadbir dikehendaki mengemukakan dua penjamin yang mempunyai aset melebihi atau menyamai nilai aset si mati dan ia bebas hutang.

Jika tidak, buat pengecualian dengan memfailkan permohonan dalam bentuk saman di kamar bersama afidavit yang menjelaskan alasan kepada mahkamah untuk dikecualikan daripada mengemukakan dua penjamin.

Selepas sijil faraid diperoleh, anda perlu membuat permohonan di Mahkamah Tinggi Sivil bagi mendapatkan perintah pembahagian harta pusaka.

Permohonan Pembahagian perlu dibuat dengan memfailkan saman pemula dan afidavit menyokong permohonan itu.

Adalah penting untuk dinyatakan kepada mahkamah cara pembahagian dibuat sama ada persetujuan bersama atau ikut hukum faraid. Selain itu, persetujuan waris lain perlu diperoleh dan persetujuan perlu difailkan dalam bentuk afidavit bersama saman pemula dan afidavit anda tadi.

Jika pembahagian atau penyelesaian secara faraid, sijil faraid mesti diperoleh sebelum membuat permohonan dan dilampirkan dalam permohonan pembahagian.

Selepas permohonan ini difailkan mahkamah menetapkan tarikh pendengaran di hadapan Hakim Mahkamah Tinggi Sivil dalam kamar.

Jika diwakili peguam, kehadiran anda boleh dikecualikan dan hanya peguam hadir pada masa itu. Anda dinasihatkan merujuk peguam bagi melancarkan proses perjalanan kes berkenaan.

Jawapan disediakan Yusmawati Abdullah, Exco Penerbitan, Persatuan Peguam Syarie Malaysia. Sila layari http://

Dipetik Dari Berita Harian 13 Ogos 2009

Kematian Satu Kepastian!

Kematian adalah satu kepastian. Satu fakta yang tidak boleh kita sangkal lagi. Sebagai umat Islam, juga tahu yang ajal dan maut adalah di tangan Tuhan. Adalah sesuatu yang mustahil untuk kita meneka bila, di mana dan bagaimana kita akan menghembuskan nafas yang terakhir.

Semasa kita masih lagi bernafas, MERANCANG adalah salah satu perkara yang boleh kita lakukan. BUKAN merancang tentang bila, di mana dan bagaimana kita akan kembali kepadaNya. TETAPI merancang tentang apa yang akan dialami oleh insan-insan yang kita sayangi.

Skim Perlindungan Takaful adalah satu keperluan untuk memastikan sekurang-kurangnya insan-insan yang kita sayangi mampu meneruskan kehidupan mereka. Perancangan Harta Pusaka pula sekurang-kurangnya akan memudahkan mereka memanfaatkan harta pusaka yang kita tinggalkan.



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