Differences between ASB, ASM, and ASN: A guide to unit trust investment in Malaysia

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Unit trusts are one of the most attractive and available investment opportunities in addition to investing in the stock market, fixed deposits, gold, real estate, and even forex. Each investor’s main objective when investing in Unit Trusts is the same, which is the expectation of gaining returns. As a smart investor, let’s get to know the differences between ASB, ASM, and ASN before you opt for the best investment instrument.

Differences between ASB, ASM, and ASN

© boonsom/ 123RF

This article was translated from Perbezaan ASB, ASM, dan ASN: Panduan pelaburan unit amanah di Malaysia by Damia Norwin

Conceptually, unit trusts are defined as collective investment instruments, in which investors’ capital is pooled into a single fund to be managed by a professional fund manager. The accumulated funds will be invested in various equity portfolios, fixed income securities, and other assets permitted by the deed in addition to abiding by the Securities Commission (SC) Guidelines on unit trust funds. Investing through unit trusts is often an option as the funds invested will be managed by professional fund managers. In addition, the funds will be invested in various types of businesses and companies based locally and abroad and the best part there will be dividend distributions.

What is ASB

What is ASB

© Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB)

Amanah Saham Berhad (ASB) was officially launched on 2 January 1990 to assist Bumiputeras in providing alternative savings. Through ASB investments, it can generate long-term returns or consistent benefits as its investments are guaranteed by the government. That means the annual returns you will receive are consistent. The unit price of the ASB fund is RM1. In addition, any cost of sale or redemption fee of these ASB units will not be charged.

However, ASB has an investment limit of up to RM200,000 only. This limit is not applicable if the investment dividend yield exceeds the investment limit. For example, the investment limit is RM200,000, it is expected that next year every ASB investor will enjoy a 10% dividend. Thus, the new value in the account is RM220,000.00. The surplus of RM20,000 is not counted as exceeding the investment limit as the surplus is income from dividends. 

ASB investment eligibility requirements

For investors who are interested in investing in the ASB Fund, the following condition is the main term that must be complied with:

  • Bumiputera who are Malays, Indigenous People of Sabah and Sarawak as governed by the Federal Constitution and also Orang Asli as defined in the Aboriginal Peoples Act 1954.

Why my application to invest in the ASB fund is rejected

The following are brief reasons why applications to invest in the ASB Fund were rejected:

  • Non-citizen
  • Unitholders have surrendered Malaysian citizenship
  • Non-Bumiputera/ Indigenous People of Sabah  /Indigenous People of Sabah/ Orang Asli (for unit trust funds reserved for Bumiputera only).
  • Unable to submit documents showing proof that you are a citizen or Bumiputera who is allowed to invest in ASB
  • Failed to provide required feedback, after a reminder was issued by ASB

Purchase of ASB funds

The purchase of ASB Funds can be done through a bank or non -bank agent. For bank agents, the purchase of ASB Funds can be made at:

  • Maybank
  • RHB
  • CIMB
  • AffinBank
  • Bank Muamalat
  • Bank Islam
  • Hong Leong Bank

Meanwhile, the purchase of ASB Funds through non-bank agents can be done through Pos Malaysia Berhad. In this latest digital era, most banks that sell ASB funds have provided online access for any transactions involving ASB funds. During the COVID-19 pandemic, let us utilise the facility to prevent sporadic viral infections, especially in public and open places.

How to purchase ASB funds without using cash

Purchases of ASB Funds can still be made without cash. Here are three methods that investors can do:

  • Withdrawal of EPF fund

If an investor is between 18-55 years old, and he or she has at least RM5,000 surplus from the basic savings of his or her Account 1, that person can withdraw up to 20% of the surplus savings.

  • Through salary deductions

You can make investments through the PPS Salary Deduction Scheme/ Skim Potongan Gaji PPS (Systematic Investment Plan).

  • ASB financing

Most authorised bank agents such as Maybank, BSN, CIMB, AmBank, RHB, and Affin Bank offer financing facilities/ loans to Bumiputeras to purchase ASB units.

The difference between ASB and ASB financing

ASB savings are personal savings and also a unit trust investment product under ASNB. Investors who have invested in ASB will receive a distribution in the form of dividends at the end of the current financial year. The total dividend that will be earned by the investor is based on the current amount of the investor’s savings in the ASB account. For example, if you invest RM500 per month without any withdrawal for a year, you will get a dividend based on the accumulated savings amount of RM6,000.

As for ASB Financing (ASBF), investors will receive an annual dividend based on financing or loans made from the bank. Most investors will apply for financing with a large and maximum amount of up to RM200,000 to get the maximum dividend return.

With the same monthly investment amount and annual dividend value, as an example the dividend is expected to be 10% next year, investors who invested in ASB conventional savings will get a total dividend profit of RM600 and a total savings of RM6,000. Meanwhile, investors who opt for ASBF will get a total dividend profit of RM22,000.

READ: What you should know about Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) and Amanah Saham Malaysia (ASM)

What is ASM

What is ASM

© Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB)

Amanah Saham Malaysia (ASM) is an ideal investment instrument for investors who understand the risks and rewards of investing and expect to profit from long-term growth. ASM’s investment concept is like investing in fixed deposits. In line with its objectives, ASM’s key investment strategy and policy are to invest in a diversified portfolio of assets and equities as well as other instruments as permitted by the Act depending on current economic conditions, the stock market, and interest rates.

The ASM fund also emphasises investment in a mixed equity portfolio through sectoral allocations. The investment strategy is to preserve the capital value and generate competitive returns in the long run. The value per ASM unit is RM1.00 and can be purchased at the same counters offering investment services under ASNB. No investment limit applies, depending on the units remaining.

ASM investment eligibility requirements

ASM is open to all Malaysians as follows:

  • A Malaysian citizen aged 18 years and above
  • Parents or legal guardians from the above categories who invest for Malaysian children aged 18 years and below and with a valid birth certificate.

The differences between ASB and ASM

The most distinctive feature between ASM and ASB is that ASB is specifically for Bumiputeras only while ASM is open to all Malaysians. The sale of ASM units is limited while the sale of ASB units is unlimited.

What is ASN

What is ASN

© Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB)

Amanah Saham Nasional (ASN) was launched on 20 April 1981. ASN was the first fund of Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) and it is only open to Malaysian Bumiputeras. The fund’s objective is to generate an appropriate level of income distribution and capital appreciation to Shareholders through a diversified investment portfolio. Initially, ASN was launched at a unit price of RM1 but it was converted to the market price in 1991. The size of the fund allocated is 2.5 billion units. The table below is the dividend rate from 2010 to 2018.

Year Dividend (cents) Bonus (cents) Amount (cents)
2010 6.00 6.00
2011 6.05 6.05
2012 6.30 6.30
2013 6.45 6.45
2014 6.45 6.45
2015 6.10 6.10
2016 5.00 5.00
2017 3.65 3.65
2018 3.25 3.25

Source: Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB)

ASN investment eligibility requirements

ASN  is open to Malaysians as follows:

  • A Malaysian Bumiputera citizen aged 18 years and above
  • Parents or legal guardians from the above categories who invest for Malaysian children aged 18 years and below and with a valid birth certificate.

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What is ASNB

Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB) is PNB’s wholly-owned subsidiary. ASNB was formally established on 22 May 1979 as a unit trust management company under PNB. After 40 years in the industry, ASNB now manages 15 funds worth RM267.12 billion as of the last recorded date of 31 December 2020. Apart from managing and offering ASB Fund investments, ASNB also offers ASB2, ASW, ASD, and other investment funds. In line with modernisation, ASNB can change the method of transactions using a more interactive digital platform, myASNB. myASNB is an investment portal developed by ASNB to make it easier for ASNB investors to manage their investments online.

Among the services provided via myASNB are:

  • Additional investment directly into ASNB’s unit trust account free of charge
  • Automatic investment setting through Auto Invest
  • Review the latest transaction records and investment balances
  • Update personal information easily and quickly
  • Manage investment accounts of children aged 18 and below for registered guardians.
  • ASNB unit trust investment withdrawal

To use the myASNB platform, investors must first update their telephone number at any ASNB Branch or Agent before registering on the MyASNB official website.

What is the unit trusts offered by ASNB

ASNB offers 2 types of unit trusts, namely:

Fixed Price Unit Trusts

Variable Price Unit Trusts

  • Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB)
  • Amanah Saham Bumiputera 2 (ASB 2)
  • Amanah Saham Bumiputera 3 Didik (ASB 3 Didik)
  • Amanah Saham Malaysia (ASM)
  • Amanah Saham Malaysia 2 – Wawasan (ASM 2 Wawasan)
  • Amanah Saham Malaysia 3 (ASM 3)
  • Offered at a fixed price of RM1 per unit and investors have the opportunity to earn a return in the form of the annual income distribution
  • Amanah Saham Nasional (ASN)
  • ASN Equity 2
  • ASN Equity 3
  • ASN Equity 5
  • ASN Imbang 1
  • ASN Imbang 2
  • ASN Sara 1
  • ASN Sara 2
  • The unit price changes daily depending on the Net Asset Value (NAV) of each fund and investors have the opportunity to receive returns in the form of annual income distribution and capital gains if any. Thus, the selling price increases compared to the buying price

Source: Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB)

The difference between ASM and ASNB

ASB is a unit trust fund managed by ASNB while ASNB is a unit trust management company that is a subsidiary of PNB.

READ: Gold investment: How to start & where to check the latest price of gold in Malaysia

Advantages and disadvantages of ASB, ASM, and ASN

Before choosing any investment instruments, why don’t you first check the advantages and disadvantages of the instruments so that you can maximise your investment funds?

Types of Trust Fund Advantages Disadvantages
ASB
  • Attractive dividend returns
  • The rate per unit is cheap which is RM1.00 per unit
  • ASB provides a high liquidity effect and in the event of an emergency, investors can withdraw the money within 24 hours and at the same time it can provide a high net worth if the savings have reached 1 month old, the savings are eligible for dividends for the month on the average annual dividend
  • ASB investment fund is guaranteed by the Malaysian government, and dividends and bonuses earned are exempt from tax
  • Limited investment limits
  • Low dividend returns
  • Only suitable for long-term investments
ASM
  • Funds can be owned by Bumiputeras and Non -Bumiputeras
  • The selling price per unit is cheap which is only RM1.00 per unit
  • Capital guaranteed by the Malaysian government.
  • Low investment risk
  • Not suitable for short-term investment
  • Unit offered is limited
ASN
  • Capital guaranteed by the Malaysian government.
  • Low investment risk
  • The unit price changes daily depending on the Net Asset Value (NAV)
  • Investors have no power to control investment decisions

Source: Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB)

7 differences of ASB, ASM, and ASN – Summary

To further understand the differences between ASB, ASM, and ASN, you can read the summary in the table below:

Categories ASB ASM ASN
Eligibility requirements Bumiputera (at the earliest possible age) All Malaysian citizens (at the earliest possible age) Bumiputera (at the earliest possible age)
Investment objectives
  •   To generate competitive and consistent long-term returns to unitholders
  •  To ensure capital retention at a minimum level of risk tolerance
  •  To provide long-term investment opportunities to unitholders
  • To generate competitive and sustainable returns through investment in a diversified portfolio
  • To generate reasonable returns in the form of income distribution and capital growth to unitholders through a diversified investment portfolio
Price per unit

RM1 per unit

The selling and buying prices are at the NAV per unit determined based on past prices and calculated at the end of the previous Business Day.
Initial capital  Cash/ cash equivalent: RM10 minimum Cash/ cash equivalent: RM10 minimum
Investment limits
  • Akaun Dewasa1: 200,000 units
  • Akaun Remaja1: 200,000 units
No limit (depending on remaining units) No limit (depending on remaining units)
Type of assets  Diversified assets Equity
Sales charges None
  • Counter transactions: Up to 5% of NAV per unit
  • SPA-EPF: None
  • Online: 2%

Source: Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB)

Edited by Rebecca Hani Romeli


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