KUALA LUMPUR: Pelaburan Hartanah Bhd (PHB) has increased an additional 500 million units of Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera (AHB), bringing the total fund size to 4 billion units.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in announcing this, said it was meant to increase Bumiputera ownership of prime commercial properties in strategic and central locations throughout the country.

Speaking at the launch ceremony here today, he said the move was also in line with the bumiputera agenda empowerment, a part of the national agenda.

"Earlier in April, I launched the Bumiputera Well-being Transformation Policy so that we would look at Bumiputera economic empowerment efforts in dimensions that are more holistic and comprehensive.

"If we, as a community want economic progress, we must look at the whole ecosystem and if we have any weaknesses from certain aspects, our performance will be jeopardised or hindered," he said at the event, held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel here.

Najib, who is also Yayasan Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera (YAHB) chairman, said social mobility was part of the ecosystem.

"Regardless of socio-economic status, opportunity must be given for each individual to soar and succeed as much as possible, according to his or her capabilities and desires," he said.

In attendance were Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani , PHB chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof and group managing director/ chief executive officer Datuk Kamalul Arifin Othman.

On wealth generation, Najib said wealth should not only be measured based on shares but also property.

Launched in 2010, AHB is the first syariah-compliant unit trust fund backed by real estate in the country.

Its initial fund size was one billion units and it has since been increased three times, in 2012, 2013 and 2016. It is presently backed by 19 commercial properties made up by a diverse range of asset classes.

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that Pelaburan Hartanah Bhd (PHB) has increased an additional 500 million units of Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera (AHB), bringing the total fund size to 4 billion units. Pix by Mohamad Shahril Badri Saali