Friday, October 4, 2013

Majority of Malays cash-strapped, don't have shares?

************** In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ***************** Reflection ***************** 'Aisha narrated this hadith: "Usama approached the Prophet on behalf of a woman (who had committed theft). The Prophet said, 'The people before you were destroyed because they used to inflict the legal punishments on the poor and forgive the rich. By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! If Fatima (the daughter of the Prophet ) did that (i.e. stole), I would cut off her hand'." (Sahih Bukhari) * ************************** ALMOST every year I recieve an annual report on Amanah Saham Nasional (ASN) and Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) even though I am not an active investor; and I do not mind if one classifies me as 'a dead one'. *********************** If I am not mistaken the value of my 'shares' in ASN and ASB are not more than RM100; at the moment I am not sure where I had placed the book accounts of both schemes. ************************* Recenty I received the booklet 'Laporan Interim' from PNB and ASNB 'bagi tempoh enam bulan berakhir 30 Jun 2013' (for the first six months ending 30 June 2013). ************************* As usual I just flipped the pages of the report by the 'Pengurus Sekim Amanah Saham Nasional (ASN)' (Manager of the Amanah Saham Nasional Scheme) without putting much interest in it; but this time as I was about to put it aside, my eyes caught a section about the profile of shareholders under 'maklumat tabung' (information on the fund). ************************* It stated that; "As at 30 June 2013, a total number of 1,241, 379 individuals had invested in the ASN scheme." ************************** There was a chart which showed that from the total 1,241, 379 investors; 1, 217,117 of them as having 5,000 and less units. And I guessed if the price of shares was at 80 sen a unit, then those more than 1.2 million investors are having about RM4,000 or less in their accounts! Those who fall under this category subscribed a total of only 214, 258,992 units out of the overall 1,535,383,143 units of shares. ***************************** I kept on thinking; 1,217, 117 out of 1, 241,379 investors having RM4,000 and less in their accounts; that meant that about 98 percent of them had only a meagre amout of money in ASN. Perhaps a large number of them owned less than 100 shares (valued at about RM80) just like in my case. Imagine only two percent of the shareholdres having more than 5,000 shares. ************************ The number of shareholders with shares ranging from 5,001 to 10,000 were 7,508 and those in the 10,001 to 50,000 category were 10,771 persons. Investors who held 50,001 to 500,000 was 5,793 persons and those who had 500,001 and more were 190. Well, they comprised of not more than 30,000 investors; a very, very small number indeed! And what about investors who did not use their own money but bought the shares by using bank loans and so on? **************************** Before discussing further about 'the majority poor' of ASN shareholders, perhaps my experience in becoming an 'investor' myself could help readers understand why 'this phenomena' happens in the ASN scheme. **************************** The story began in 1983 when I registered myself as a university student. One of the requirements for the freshies was that they had to open an account with ASN. Thus from that day onwards I was one of ASN investors. ***************************** At that time the minimum deposit was RM10. During my university and bachelor days I treated the account just like a savings account; if I managed to save some money I deposit it under the account and if I was short of cash I withdraw the money which could be easily done at post offices. *************************** When the investment scheme branched out into two identities - ASN and Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) in 1990, my name was maintained in both accounts and that is why to this day I still received statements and annual reports by ASN and also ASB. **************************** I put aside both investments (in ASN and ASB) after reading articles by some Islamic scholars saying that involvement in such schemes fell into the 'doubtful category'. *************************** At first I was in the thinking that I was among a few 'investors' that have a small amount of money in both schemes but looking back at the latest report that I had just received, it showed that too many of the investors have 'small' amounts of money in either the ASN or ASB. ************************** Perhaps many of them are like me - having an investment of less than RM100! And mind you only two percent of the shareholders in ASN having more than RM4,000 in the account! ************************** If we make the assumption that Bumiputera were reluctant to invest in ASN because of the rise and fall of their investments unit due to the market price, the profile of investors in the ASB which shares are fixed at RM1 per share too show the same trend. **************************** The report by the Administrators of Skim Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) for the year ended 31 December 2012 noted that: "As at 31st December 2012; 7,824,331 individuals have participated in ASB scheme." ***************************** Out of the 7.8 million shareholders, 5, 769, 315 individuals held 5,000 and less shares (valued at RM1 per share); 442,932 individuals held 5,001 to 10,000 shares; 999,209 individuals held 10,001 to 50,000 shares; 600,557 individuals held 50,001 to 500,000 shares; and 12,318 individuals held 500,001 and above shares. **************************** Imagine about 80 percent of investors were 'small partners' (with investment worth RM5,000 and less) in a national scheme with the main purpose of uplifting the status of Malays in the economic field and business world. ************************* A quick look at the ASB statements sent to my parentss' house in the kampung, stated that my mother had RM129.13 in her account; a sister RM22.93 and a brother RM199.67 in his account. *************************** Based on the figures from ASN and ASB annual reports to investors, am I wrong to say the majority of Bumiputera especially Malays are not financialy stable - even though many of them joined the scheme but they were only small time investors or shareholders? *************************** I believe many of those with shares worth less than RM5,000 are customers who treat their investment just like a savings accounts with transaction actitives such as drawing money (which can be done easily) - that is when they have money they deposit it in their accounts and when they need money they withdraw it. ************************** During the last 'raya' (Aidilfitri) celebration, many ASN and ASB investors were seen at post-offices withdrawing their hard earned money. ********************** If we were to look at the situation and study the trend as recorded in the ASN or ASB Interim Report, we would be asking ourselves; are the majority of the Malays cash-strapped and without shares? ************************ This development is not be taken lightly as the purpose of setting up investment schemes such as ASN and ASB was to uplift the economic status of the Bumiputera. ************************** Perhaps the ASN which was launched more than 30 years ago (on 20th April 1981) by then Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn and then ASB about ten years later; have helped the Malays but the question is, which Malay?

No comments: