Good response to Sara 1Malaysia

PETALING JAYA (Jan 31, 2012): Skim Amanah Rakyat 1Malaysia (Sara 1Malaysia) received good response, especially in non-urban areas, when the scheme opened for application at the branches of participating banks yesterday.

Maybank head of consumer finance Hamirullah Boorhan said the bank has received an encouraging number of enquiries as well as submission of applications throughout the country for the investment scheme.

"We are seeing good interest from across the country, including in non-urban centres, and this reflects the increasing awareness and interest from the public toward investments and unit trusts in particular," he said.

He said Maybank has designated counters to serve applicants for Sara 1Malaysia with staff assisting applicants so that they can benefit from the attractive product.

"This is a good investment opportunity and we would like to encourage eligible investors to take this opportunity to participate in this scheme," he added.

It is learnt that applications are more likely to come from bank branches located on the outskirts of towns and cities and in rural areas, as the scheme is targeted at the lower-income group.

"Some applicants walk in to our branches while our customer service department has also received queries on the scheme," said a Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) officer.

Under the scheme, eligible Malaysians can apply for a RM5,000 loan from Maybank, CMB Bank, RHB Bank or BSN to invest in Amanah Saham 1Malaysia (AS 1Malaysia) which is managed by Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB). The loan is for the purchase of 5,000 AS 1Malaysia units.

The government would provide RM100 million in the form of subsidy to the participating banks to pay the interest. The scheme offers an attractive 32.16% return on investment per annum.

"A funding of RM500 million is offered to 100,000 households which will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis," said PNB president and group chief executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman.

Applicants must be Malaysian citizens aged 18 to 58, with gross household income of RM500 to RM3,000 a month. The scheme is open for one year or upon full subscription of the total allocation.