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Top 7 Shariah-Compliant Investments in Malaysia (Halal Investments 2024)

Updated: Jun 5

Did you know that Malaysia is one of the top-ranking countries on the Global Islamic Economic Indicator (GIEI)? This means we have a respectable size of the Halal Economy particularly for Islamic finance, halal food, Muslim-friendly travel, and media and recreation sectors.


In this article, let’s dive into the world of Islamic finance, particularly Halal or Shariah-compliant investments.


7 Halal Investments in Malaysia (Shariah-Compliant Investments)

What Is Shariah Investing (Halal Investing)?


Shariah investing is an investment approach that adheres to the principles and guidelines of Islamic law.


It is a form of ethical investing that aligns with the values and beliefs of Muslims and avoids activities that are considered prohibited (haram) or unethical according to Islamic teachings.


What Are The Key Principles of Shariah Investing (Halal Investing)?


1. Prohibition of Riba (Interest)

Riba, or interest, is prohibited because it is seen as a tool that facilitates unequal exchange. For example, in a riba system, a wealthy individual can lend money and earn interest steadily without engaging in any productive activity, potentially exploiting the financial needs of others.


In contrast, Shariah-compliant investments promote profit and loss sharing and shared risk.

This means that investments in businesses involved in conventional banking, lending, or interest-based financial instruments are not permissible.


2. Prohibition of Gharar (Uncertainty or speculation)

Gharar, or uncertainty/betting, is prohibited because it fosters transactions based on speculation rather than tangible assets. For instance, investing in businesses with ambiguous contract terms or unclear pricing strategies would be considered engagements in Gharar.


Investments in speculative derivatives, gambling, or uncertain contracts are not considered permissible. Therefore, Shariah-compliant investors should ensure that trading contracts with companies or brokers are clear and concise.


3. Prohibition of Maysir (Gambling or betting)

Maysir or gambling, is prohibited as it is based on luck and uncertainty and not on real economic productivity. For example, engaging in transactions that are highly speculative, akin to betting on stock price movements without underlying assets or analysis, would be viewed as indulging in Maysir.


4. Prohibition of Haram Activities

Investments in businesses involved in activities considered Haram according to Islamic principles are not allowed. This includes companies involved with alcohol, gambling, adult entertainment, pork, tobacco-based products and non-halal food products.


FAQ About Shariah Investing (Halal Investing)


Q1: How do I know if a company is Shariah non-compliant?

According to Bursa Malaysia, companies will be deemed as Shariah non-compliant if they are involved in the following core activities:


  • Financial services based on riba (interest).

  • Gaming and gambling.

  • Manufacture or sale of non-halal products or related products.

  • Conventional insurance.

  • Entertainment activities that are non-permissible according to Shariah.

  • Manufacture or sale of tobacco-based products or related products.

  • Stockbroking or share trading on Shariah non-compliant securities.

  • Other activities deemed non-permissible according to Shariah.


Q2: Can Muslims invest in non-Shariah-compliant investments?

Yes, you can. It is not against the law and it all comes down to personal choice.


Q3: Can a non-Muslim invest in Shariah-compliant investments?

Yes, you can! Note that your options will be pretty limited, sometimes even non-existent as securities like warrants, futures, and options trading are prohibited in halal investment.


Now, onto the best part of this article.


List of Shariah-Compliant Investments in Malaysia (2023)


1. Tabung Haji (TH)


What Is It?

Tabung Haji is a financial institution established to assist Muslims in saving and investing to fund their Hajj pilgrimage. It also facilitates various financial services and products that adhere to Islamic principles.


Malaysian Muslims who want to go on Hajj, HAVE to open a Tabung Haji Account.


How Does It Work?

Hajj Pilgrimage

Tabung Haji provides a platform for you to accumulate funds for your pilgrimage through savings and investing. Once sufficient savings are accumulated, Tabung Haji will assist in arranging and facilitating the pilgrimage, taking care of logistical elements such as flights and accommodation.


Investment

You can also invest in Shariah-compliant assets through Tabung Haji. These assets generate profits, which are later distributed as dividends to the depositors.


Minimum Deposit Needed?

Minimum Initial Deposit: RM10

Minimum Account Balance (to qualify for Hajj registration): RM1,300


What Are The Returns Like?

It varies, year-on-year but the average returns over the past 10 years is 4.66%. In 2022, the returns were 3.10% after zakat (wealth distribution through charity).


How To Open Tabung Haji Account?

2. ASNB Funds


What Is It?

ASNB offers a variety of unit trust funds which are largely Shariah-compliant, aiming to foster investment and savings among Malaysians, particularly the Bumiputera community.


There are three funds you can choose from - ASB, ASM, and ASN. To get a better understanding of each, read this article!


How Does It Work?

Just like your typical unit trust fund, ASNB operates by pooling money from various investors into a single fund, which is then managed by professional fund managers. Investors hold units in the fund that represent their share of the holdings and earnings.


Though most of its funds are invested in non-Shariah-compliant assets, it received harus fatwa from the National Fatwa Council which makes it a halal investment.


Minimum Deposit Needed?

Minimum Initial Deposit: RM10

Maximum Investment: RM300,000


What Are The Returns Like?

The returns for each fund (ASB, ASM, ASN) vary year-on-year. However, historically, the returns for ASB and ASM are usually >4%. ASN on the other hand, provides returns between 1-4%.


How To Invest in ASNB?

1. Download & install myASNB app.

2. Register for an ASNB account.

3. Login into account.

4. Choose any of the funds you’d like to invest in.

5. Buy units by using FPX via bank account.


3. Islamic Unit Trust Funds (by Private Fund Management Companies)


What Is It?

Similar to ASNB Funds, these funds function just like a normal unit trust fund except the investments are made into Shariah-compliant securities, such as equities, sukuk (Islamic bonds), and Islamic money market instruments.


Where To Invest in Private Islamic Unit Trust Funds?

Here’s a list of some of the fund management companies that offer Islamic unit trust funds.

For more details on Islamic unit trust funds, check out FSMOne.


Minimum Deposit Needed?

It varies according to which fund management company you go to but typically, the initial deposit required is RM1,000.


What Are The Returns Like?

Varies according to the fund chosen.


How To Open An Account?

Visit the website of your chosen fund management company and open an account that way.


4. Bursa Malaysia-i


What Is It?

Bursa Malaysia-i is a sector of Malaysia’s stock market where you can invest in Shariah-compliant assets like stocks, ETFs, REITs and sukuk (bonds).


Products offered:

  1. i-Stocks: Invest in local companies that are Shariah-compliant, including during IPO (initial public offering)

  2. i-ETFs: Invest in a basket of Shariah-compliant securities.

  3. i-REITs: An easier alternative to property investment, earn a stable income stream and distribution yield through Shariah-compliant REITS.

  4. ETBS (Exchange Traded Bonds and Sukuk): Invest in halal fixed-income securities issued by the government or companies.


How To Start Investing in Bursa Malaysia-i?
  1. Open CDS and a Shariah-compliant trading account with an Islamic brokerage.

  2. Register & activate Bursa Malaysia-i Account.

  3. Start trading!


Here’s a list of Islamic brokers you can open an Islamic trading account with, in Malaysia:


5. Shariah-Compliant Fixed Deposits (FD)


What Is It?

Unlike the usual fixed deposits in the market, an Islamic Fixed Deposit adheres to Islamic law which makes it Shariah-compliant. Instead of accruing interest, your deposit is invested in halal, or permissible, ventures, with profits shared with you based on a pre-agreed ratio.


An easy way to tell if a fixed deposit is Shariah-compliant is by making sure the FD name ends with “-i”.


Where To Invest in Shariah-Compliant Fixed Deposits?

Simply go onto RinggitPlus, and look up Islamic Fixed Deposits.


Minimum Deposit Needed?

It varies according to the bank and duration of investment.


What Are The Returns Like?

Varies according to the fixed deposit chosen.


How To Open An Account?

Typically, you’ll just have to open an account with your chosen bank and request to open an Islamic FD account.


6. Shariah-Compliant Money Market Funds


What Is It?

A Shariah-compliant money market fund pools investors' money to invest in short-term, liquid, and halal (permissible) financial instruments, such as sukuk (Islamic bonds) and Islamic bank deposits, avoiding interest (riba) and unethical industries.


Profits are distributed to investors based on a predetermined profit-sharing ratio, aligning with Shariah guidelines on investment.


What’s The Difference Between Fixed Deposit and Money Market Fund?

A fixed deposit has a lock-in period (3 - 12 months) and a penalty for early withdrawal. Meanwhile, a money market fund has none of those. The best part is, the returns are about the same at 3-4%.


Where To Invest in Shariah-Compliant Money Market Funds?

So far, only TouchN’Go GO+ is Shariah-compliant.


Minimum Deposit Needed for TouchN’Go GO+?

RM10.


What Are The Returns Like?

You’ll earn daily returns and as of the time of writing, returns are 3.41% p.a.


How To Open An Account?
  1. Download the TouchN’Go app.

  2. Click on GO+.

  3. Complete Account Verification.

  4. Update your personal information.

  5. Deposit RM10.

  6. Start earning!


7. Physical Assets


Besides the above financial instruments, you can also invest in gold and property as long as you stick to the principles of Shariah.


Halal Gold Investment

You can invest in physical gold like gold bars, coins or even jewellery. Besides that, there are even e-gold and gold investment accounts like Maybank Islamic Gold Account-i.


Property Investment

Generally, property investment is halal so long as it is not obtained illegally or unethically according to Islamic laws. One thing to look out for is the financial products used to purchase the property. You’ll want to take up Islamic loans and takaful instead of conventional loans and insurance.


Conclusion


We hope this helped clarify some things about halal investments or Shariah-compliant investments for you. As always, make sure to research and learn more about a financial instrument before putting your money into it and if you’re still unsure, there’s no shame in reaching out for professional advice.


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