Archive for November, 2008

Malaysia: CIMB Aviva survey shows trend for capital guaranteed products

Malaysia: CIMB Aviva survey shows trend for capital guaranteed products

4 September, 2008

The investment environment might not look too rosy for now but people are still generally receptive towards investment products that offer guaranteed capital protection, investment diversification and insurance protection.

This is evident from the simple survey conducted in August 2008 by CIMB Aviva Malaysia (CIMB Aviva) which showed 67.9% of respondents saying they will invest in a product that offers all the three elements.

Asian markets such as China, India, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia are still the preferred investment location with 74% choosing Asia as the continent that they think they would be interested to invest in now vs 10.7% for Australia or 5.4% for North America.

“CIMB Aviva decided to get some feedback on investor sentiment that is currently very difficult to predict due to unsettling factors such as global economy slowdown, rising cost of living and local political developments. This survey gives us a better picture of what to expect and supported the strategy of our latest product, CIMB Islamic Market Select,” said Encik Zainudin Ishak, CEO of CIMB Aviva Takaful Berhad.

“CIMB Islamic Market Select is a Shariah-compliant product which provides a 100% capital protected guarantee along with the upside of investing in 17 different countries. This means not only portfolio diversification that mitigates overall portfolio risk but also a higher potential for growth. The fact that most of those surveyed still view Asia optimistically means this is an ideal product for all,” he added

CIMB Islamic Market Select gives investors the opportunity to ride on the existing investment wave of mature markets such as the US, promising Asian markets such as China and India plus the added advantage of investing into new emerging markets such as Brazil and Turkey which are set to take off as the next investment hotspots offering potential for long-term growth potential.

When applied to historical data, Market Select’s dynamic investment allocation strategy gives average annual returns of 16.5% and 23.6% for its three-year and five-year plan which means potentially higher returns than a conventional fixed deposit account.

A CIMB Islamic Market Select investor also benefits from takaful coverage, which pays surviving nominees a maximum of 125% of his single investment if he passes away before the investment matures.

Market Select applies the Best Performing Strategy that refers to the Dynamic investment allocation strategy. With this strategy, the returns at maturity are allocated based on a 60:20:20-allocation rate for the three market categories. This means investors enjoy 60% of the return based on the best performing category and 20% respectively for the remaining two categories. This product offers the option of a three-year and a five-year select terms with the latter having the added flexibility of providing yearly income distribution.

CIMB Islamic Market Select is available at all CIMB Islamic branches, which are co-located at CIMB Bank’s 366 branches nationwide until 19 September 2008. For further information, investors can call 1 300 880 900 or visit


Andi McLennan
Director of Marketing
CIMB Aviva Assurance Berhad
Telephone: 03-03-2612 3724

Tricia Loh
Head of Brand & PR
CIMB Aviva Assurance Berhad
Telephone: 03-2614 3599

Notes to editors:

What questions and answers did we get?

1. Which age range do you fall into?
Above 50 6.25%
Between 41 and 50 15.18%
Between 31 and 40 43.75%
Between 21 and 30 32.14%
Under 21 1.79%
2. Your current annual gross income level is:
Under RM24,000 11.61%
Between RM24,000 and RM50,000 41.07%
Between RM50,000 and RM100,000 33.04%
Above RM100,000 11.61%
3. What is the average savings amount in your deposit account now?
Below RM1000 32.14%
RM1000 – RM5000 25.89%
RM5000 – RM20,000 18.75%
RM20,000 – RM50,000 14.29%
Above RM50,000 8.04%
4. Currently, do you think you have enough savings to cope with rising cost of living?
Yes 10.71%
No 86.61%
5. If you have excess cash in hand, where would you prefer to put it at present?
Keep in the bank 26.79%
Invest in shares 8.93%
Invest in unit trust or insurance 22.32%
Invest in properties 27.68%
Other 13.39%
6. Which of the following continents in the world do you think would be interesting to invest in now?
North America (eg US, Canada) 5.36%
South America (eg Argentina, Brazil) 3.57%
Africa 3.57%
Asia 74.11%
Australia 10.71%
7. Which of these markets would you choose to invest in if given the choice?
Developed markets eg US, Europe & Japan 25.00%
Asian markets eg China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand 59.82%
New markets eg Russia, Kazakhastan, South Africa, Brazil, Egypt, Turkey, Mexico and Vietnam 14.29%
8. How confident are you now to invest your money vs two months ago?
Very confident 1.79%
More confident 11.61%
Neither confident nor not confident 51.79%
Less confident 27.68%
Not confident at all 8.04%
9. What is your primary investment objective?
Highest potential returns 28.57%
Growth of income 35.71%
Diversification across different asset classes 8.04%
Secure investing 26.79%
10. If you could securely invest your excess money in your deposit account within 17 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America whilst benefiting from 100% capital protection and with an element of additional life cover protection, would you do so?
Yes I’d invest 67.86%
No I’d leave my money in my deposit account 8.93%
I don’t know 23.21%

Which countries does CIMB Islamic Market Select invest in?

Developed Markets US, Europe and Japan
Asian Emerging Markets China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand
Next Emerging Markets Russia, Kazakhastan, South Africa, Brazil, Egypt, Turkey, Mexico and Vietnam

Who is CIMB Aviva?
CIMB Aviva is a joint venture company between CIMB Group and Aviva plc. CIMB Group is Malaysia’s second largest financial services provider and one of Southeast Asia’s leading universal banking groups, and Aviva is the world’s fifth largest insurance group* and the largest insurance services provider in UK.

Through the joint venture, CIMB Aviva offers a comprehensive range of life insurance and takaful products and services via the 366 branches of CIMB Bank and CIMB Islamic, two subsidiaries under CIMB Group.

CIMB Aviva also rides on the global expertise of Aviva, which services 45 million customers in 27 countries around the world. Aviva recorded total sales of £49.2 billion (RM337.5 billion) at 31 December 2007 and funds under management of £359 billion (RM2.28 trillion) at 30 June 2008.

*based on gross worldwide premiums
Average exchange rate 1£ = RM6.86 (2007), RM6.34 (6-month 2008)



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Interest-free Sharia MasterCard launched

Interest-free Sharia MasterCard launched


Knowing you have a Sharia credit card? Priceless

The UK’s first sharia-compliant prepaid MasterCard was launched today.

The Cordoba Gold MasterCard does not charge or receive interest as this is in direct conflict with sharia Law.

The company also donates at least 10% of its profits to registered charities in the UK and abroad.

A company spokesman said: “Because this is a prepaid card, the customer pays no interest on their balance.

“The difference with this card is that Cordoba Financial Group does not earn any interest on the balance either.

“Normally when someone puts money on a prepaid card the company that issues the card will earn interest on the balance until the person spends it.

“This is not the case with Cordoba, as you can neither earn nor pay interest under sharia law.”

The Cordoba Gold card is available to UK residents aged 18 and over, and is being launched in London.

The UK’s Muslim population totals about two million and fully sharia-compliant banks have more than 30,000 customers across the UK.


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Muslims to be offered Sharia-compliant pensions by Government

Muslims to be offered Sharia-compliant pensions by Government

Muslims are to be offered Sharia-compliant pension funds by a new Government body.

The scheme to provide retirement funds for millions who do not already have a company pension is likely to include a special option that would not invest in companies deemed sinful under Islam.

Ministers are keen to get Muslims saving with the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority, as many who have low-paid jobs or who have moved to Britain in recent decades are unlikely to have put away much for their old age.

The decision to provide a Sharia-compliant pension fund is another sign of the growing influence of Islamic law in British public life and in particular the country’s finance industry.

The prospect of some aspects of Sharia law such as divorce proceedings and dispute resolution being enshrined in the English legal system – raised by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chief Justice this year – remains highly controversial because of fears that the system discriminates against women and that a two-tier approach would be divisive.

But more and more financial products are being tailored to cater for Britain’s population of 2million Muslims.

The religion’s holy book, the Qu’ran, forbids Muslims from making money from money, so they cannot use products that involve the charging of interest nor invest in traditional financial services firms.

Gambling, drinking and pornography are also seen as immoral under Islam, so Muslims cannot put their money into companies that promote these activities.

The Islamic finance market is estimated to be worth £500million already and is growing rapidly.

Families can already get Sharia-compliant baby bonds under the Government’s Child Trust Fund scheme while the UK is likely to become the first Western country to issue Islamic bonds in order to raise money from the Middle East.

This year has also seen the launch of Britain’s first Islamic insurance company and pre-paid MasterCard. There are a handful of wholly Islamic banks in the country and several more that offer alternatives to mortgages which do not involve the charging of interest.

When the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority launches in 2012, as many as 10 million people who do not have a decent occupational pension will become automatically enrolled and made to save a minimum of 4 per cent of their earnings a year, matched by a 3 per cent contribution from their employer and 1 per cent tax relief from the Government.

Savers will be able to choose from a range of funds into which their money will be invested, with one option likely to be Sharia-compliant.

A spokesman for the authority said: “In early 2009 we will be consulting on the potential approach to investment. Issues that we envisage incorporating into the consultation document include the overarching investment objective, the default strategy and lifestyling of funds and fund choices beyond the default strategy.

“This will include the appropriateness of making available religion compliant funds (e.g. Sharia) and funds focussing on social, environmental and ethical issues.”

Its plan was backed this week by a report by the Pensions Policy Institute and the Equality and Human Rights Commission on how to improve the lot of Britain’s “under-pensioned”, such as disabled people, women and ethnic minorities, who in many cases have not worked long enough to be entitled to a full state pension of £90.70 a week when they retire.

The study said: “The inclusion of a Sharia-compliant investment choice might be important to encourage participation among some ethnic minority groups.”

Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion think tank, said the Government should not be creating parallel financial or legal systems for different groups in Britain.

He said: “It’s a great mistake for the Government to think this is desirable or even necessary.”


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