Tabung Haji denies Detroit property investment talk

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 22): Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) has denied speculation it has invested RM640 million in the property market in Detroit, the US.

In a statement today, LTH clarified that as of to date, the pilgrim fund has not made any investment commitments in Detroit or any other cities in the US.

“LTH expressed regret over the recent speculative remarks on LTH’s investment in the US.

(There are) no transactions or payments made for any kind of investments in the US. Therefore, the public should not rely on any unofficial sources which is merely speculative in nature and may not reflect the truth,” said LTH.

LTH was commenting on recent reports that it plans to invest as much as RM640 million in Detroit, which was described as a fallen city and has caused its real estate market to depreciate in value.

It was also reported that the high-rise buildings in Detroit have been left vacant in the past 10 years, while the city’s population went down from 2 million to 700,000 residents.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had expressed his concern that the government-linked invesment companies’ move to invest in overseas or buying properties beyond the Malaysian shores could result in capital outflow.

LTH highlighted that it has thus far invested in Saudi Arabia, the UK, Australia and Asian countries for diversification purposes.
The fund went on to say that it will continue to explore for similar opportunities in new countries as guided by its Strategic Asset Allocation framework, encouraged by favourable returns from these overseas investments.

“The overseas investment activity as its domestic counterpart is subjected to a rigorous internal investment process. LTH is very mindful in all its activities to uphold the interest of the Ummah and its valued depositors,” said LTH.

The core investment sectors of LTH include Islamic banking, plantation, real estate, property development and construction, information technology, oil & gas, hospitality and halal food.

It has 120 branches across the country and a branch in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.