Personally, I didn’t give much thought about ASB as I’m not a Bumiputera (Bumi). So, why am I writing on this subject? Here is how it all started.

It began with my friend, KCLau. He received an email on how a Bumi can generate 16% in returns from investing in ASB. It caught KC’s attention, and he spent several hours on an excel spreadsheet to compute the figures. True enough, KC learnt that 16% return from ASB is indeed plausible.

Intrigued, KC asked me to host a webinar on this subject. Initially, as I read his email, I thought 16% is probably a typo. After all, I know that returns from ASB range from 7% – 8% a year. So, I began to clarify the returns. KC replied with the excel spreadsheet given, and I was astounded.

Then, I sighed as I think to myself, ‘Imagine that I’m qualified to earn 16% returns from an investment that is capital guaranteed with minimum risk.’ For me, it’s ‘Dream On, Bro’. But, if you are a Bumi reading this, then, whatever I write below should be of great interest to you. Therefore, here are the 7 things you need to know to get way above 10% returns from your ASB investment:

#1: Top 10 Investments held by ASB

Have you ever wondered why ASB could pay out consistent dividends to investors year after year? The answer is obvious. ASB invests in cash-cows that are capable of paying high dividends yields. From its profits received, ASB would distribute the dividends to its investors. Here are the top 10 investments held by ASB as of 31 December 2016:

No. Stocks% of Net Asset Value
1Malayan Banking Bhd20.49%
2Sime Darby Bhd15.35%
3Axiata Group Bhd3.46%
4Maxis Bhd2.60%
5Tenaga Nasional Bhd2.49%
6Telekom Nasional Bhd1.94% Bhd1.83%
8SP Setia Bhd1.77%
9UWM Holdings Bhd1.55%
10I&P Group Bhd1.45%

Note: In 2017, SP Setia Bhd announced its proposal to acquire the entire equity interest in I&P Group Bhd.

#2: Lower Dividends in 2016

The amount of dividends distributed to ASB holders have declined from 8.50 sen in 2014 to 7.25 sen in 2016. Have you wondered why? Here, I did a little digging and discovered that ASB had derived lower dividend income from its investment.

Figures in RM Million (unless stated otherwise)

Gross Dividend Income 4,787.24,545.894,301.11
Dividends (Sen)8.507.757.25

Instinctively (due to my work nature as I run, I submit to you that the lower gross dividend income is due to lower profits from Sime Darby Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd, Bhd and UMW Holdings Bhd. Their reported shareholders’ earnings are as followed:

Figures in RM Million

Sime Darby3,3532,3132,409

Source: Their Respective Annual Reports

#3: Low PTR

ASB has low Portfolio Turnover Ratio (PTR) of 0.16, which shows that it is a fund that derives income from investing over the long-term. As such, dividends in the future are dependent on the future financial performances of the top 10 stocks mentioned in Point #1.

#4: Cash or Borrow?

Should I buy ASB units with cash? Or, should I borrow to buy ASB units?
It will determine the returns from your ASB investment.

If you buy ASB units with cash, you will collect dividends of 7.25% in 2016. There is no leverage as you did not borrow to invest. If you buy ASB units with ASB loans, you can boost your returns way above 10% a year as leverage is involved. As I write, it is possible for a Bumi to apply for ASB loans at rates between 5.10% – 5.35% for a maximum tenure of 30 years to invest in ASB units that pay out 7.25% in dividends a year.

The table below is a list of banks that offer ASB loans:

No. BanksLink
1CIMB BankASB Financing
2Bank Simpanan NasionalASB with Floating Rate
3MaybankASB Financing
4MaybankASB Financing-i

#5: What if I already bought my ASB units with cash?

As I write, the maximum amount of investment a Bumi individual can make in ASB is RM 200,000.

So, let’s assume that you have already bought RM 200,000 worth of ASB units with cash. You intend to choose one of the two options.

Option 1: Keep all ASB units in Cash and do nothing.

Option 2:
– Cash out the RM 200,000 in ASB.
– Invest that in a new portfolio of stocks that pay 6% dividends a year
– You apply for RM 200,000 in ASB loan for 30 years
– Use ASB Loan to invest in ASB units.

So, what is the difference in returns after 5 years? The answer: RM 31,505. How does it feel to that extra income over the next five years? Pretty cool with just one-time effort!!!

Figures in RM

Option: CashBorrow
ASB Cash Returns83,80355,308
Dividends (Stocks)060,000
Total Cash Returns83,803115,308

#6: How Much Can You Borrow?

Firstly, you can borrow up to 100% of the amount of ASB investment. This is unlike most residential properties where the financing is up to 90% for 1st-time buyers (in general). Whoa…

Secondly, it depends on your debt-service ratio (DSR). It differs based on your credit score. Many factors would affect your credit score. In general, this includes your source of income, the amount of your income, and your current monthly debt obligations. You may pay a visit to the bank to check your DSR and the amount of loan you are eligible.

If I qualified to invest in ASB, I would borrow the maximum that I could!

#7: What are the Risks Involved?

There are three primary risks involved in getting an ASB loan to finance your purchase of ASB units. The first two is pretty obvious. They include upward revisions of the interest rates of the ASB loan and lower income distribution of your ASB investments in the future.

Thirdly, there is an opportunity cost for getting an ASB loan. You could use your DSR to secure mortgages on investment properties. So, if you are an astute property investor, then, this would be of concern to you. If you do not wish to buy a property shortly, then ASB loans are more suitable for you.

So, How do I Compute my Returns on my own ASB Investment?

I’ve covered the broad strokes. KCLau has already conducted a webinar session to show you how you can compute your returns from your ASB investment step-by-step using a Google spreadsheet. This session include a pretty lively discussion on everything and anything you need to know to boost your returns from ASB.

Just enter your details below to access the material immediately including the full training video, a copy of Google Spreadsheet for your peruse and the presentation materials.

Ian Tai
Ian Tai

Financial Content Machine. Dividend Investor. Produced 500+ Financial Articles featured in in Malaysia and the Fifth Person, Value Invest Asia, and Small Cap Asia in Singapore. Regular Host and Presenter of a Weekly Financial Webinar with Co-Founded, an online membership site that empowers retail investors to build a stock portfolio that pays rising dividends year after year in Malaysia and Singapore.

    17 replies to "How to Get Above 10% Returns from Your ASB Investment"

    • […] one can predict how much you get next year. However, in comparison to other investment tools, even KC Lau agreed that if you’re a bumiputera, ASB is one of the best bets there is in the market. It is […]

    • retro

      Do you feel dumb now?

    • Sufyan

      the info is great, keep up the good work :)

    • Lionel Goh

      Good insight kc!??owever i do notice that there is another option call?AMANAH SAHAM MALAYSIA (ASM) which can be invest by all warganegara. Is it possible to do financing to invest on that particular fund ? thanks

      • KCLau

        ASM is not eligible for financing, as far as I know.

    • Minimalboi

      Very insightful article!
      However, I would like to seek an expert opinion of yours.

      Say I already have RM200,000 in my ASB. What do you think if I applied for an ASB-financing loan of (max RM200,000) and stack them up to make RM400,000, prosper and goyang kaki afterwards? Instead of doing option 2 under #5.

      Thanks so much

    • KS

      Hi Sir, What you recommend for non-bumi invest other than ASB?

    • PP

      If i have RM50K Cash. Will it be wise to invest upfront in ASB? or take ASB loan? If yes, what is the loan duration should be?

    • […] it is a Malaysian Unit Trust Fund that is invested into blue chip shares, some of which are listed here. But investing directly in ASB and using ASB Financing (aka ASB loan) are two very different […]

    • Venadurai Kanniah

      Good day sir……i am a non bumi and can i invest into the 3 amanah saham as mentioned in your writeup…..if yes whats the limit sir.

      • KCLau

        I am afraid as non-bumi, we can’t invest in ASB.

    • NSS

      I disagree with you.
      if you have the money to buy cash units then you have to pay loan to the bank.
      the total dividend after 30 years minus the loan you pay to the bank is lot lesser by almost 90% of the total u can make by consistently by buy cash units for 30 years..

      • akinaru

        Well, that depends on your savings (or deposit) pattern or if you are saying that you have the ready cash of 200k that is totally a different story already. ASB dividend + bonus % will also affect the return against the loan repayment amount.
        You do the math.

      • KCLau

        I promise that you will find the full answers by watching the video where I showed how to calculate the return (interest, return, leverage) – all displayed on my video training:

        There is no obligation, no payment required to access the training. In other words, I gave you everything I know about this topic for free.
        I am not paid to do this… as I also couldn’t participate, although I wish I could.

    • Shahul Farouk

      Hi there,
      Is there any other Islamic investment (low risk) which can beat ASB ?


      • KCLau

        As I know, leveraged ASB investment is the best now – syariah compliant.

    • Nurman

      Good job, well written

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