Poor take-up for 1 Malaysia fund blamed on wary investors

By Lee Wei Lian, The Malaysian Insider

The undersubscription of the RM10 billion government-backed Amanah Saham 1Malaysia unit trust fund is likely due to the sheer volume of units available and wariness among some investors, according to analysts.

Only about a third of the fund has been subscribed so far and Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), which manages the fund, has said that it will extend the subscription deadline for a third time since its launch in July.

This is in sharp contrast to PNB’s earlier funds such as Amanah Saham Malaysia and Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020, whose new units sold out quickly this year due to their track record of providing between six and eight per cent in returns.

Amanah Saham 1 Malaysia (AS1M) is PNB’s largest ever fund offering and getting the investing public to absorb all ten billion units would be more difficult than earlier funds, said market analysts canvassed by The Malaysian Insider.

Amanah Saham Malaysia, for example, was launched in 2000 with fewer than two billion units.

Investments in AS1M are also not capital guaranteed which affects its appeal.

Added to this is a perception among many investors that the size of the RM10 billion fund and its launch in the middle of the economic slowdown meant that the government is facing financial difficulties.

“The timing of the launch made some people feel that the government had no money,” one analyst told The Malaysian Insider.

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