(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Putting away some money regularly is an ideal way to build up your savings for a rainy day, but sometimes it's difficult to keep that commitment wouldn't you say?
If keeping cash in banks has you wondering whether the interest you are being paid is decent enough then one possible solution may be to look into National bonds. With relative safety at least you have a chance of winning cash prizes since National Bonds is now quadrupling its prize draws from monthly to weekly. With no income or job requirement, anyone can purchase national bonds, whether a resident, non-resident or UAE national. Not only does it offer a unique opportunity to save, and win, but it is also a Shariah compliant product which will within its programme of investments actively support the development and improvement of infrastructure within the local community. With National Bonds you are eligible to win not just once, but every week, for as long as you hold your Bonds. Each individual Bond is eligible to win one prize in every draw. It is anticipated that National Bonds will fulfill some of the demand for more diverse savings opportunities. In addition the capital leveraged from the scheme will be utilised for the benefit and development of the area. And why not!
National Bonds Corporation has so far succeeded in securing 10 per cent of the UAE's population as its market share in reaching half a million bond holders from over 91 nationalities of which 35 per cent are non-residents. The beauty of the product is that it allows a potential investor to save as much as they want or as little as Dh100. The bonds offer participants a safe and credible savings option whilst simultaneously providing people with a unique opportunity to win millions of dirhams in draws. With a commitment to give out annual returns to customers on their deposits, comparable to those offered by bank saving accounts. Each National Bond is an investment certificate and is included in every draw until it is redeemed.
National Bonds is a private joint stock company that was established in March 2006. The company's main shareholders are Government of Dubai, Dubai Holding Company, Emaar Properties Company and Dubai Bank which are all overseen by the UAE Central Bank which means National Bonds Corporation is subject to the same regulatory procedures as other financial institutions here.
How it Works
The Corporation's profit is based on the principles of Islamic Shariah in which the profit made is determined and 20 per cent of this amount is distributed amongst Bondholders. The distribution will be according to the number of Bonds held by an individual, and for the time period the bonds were held. There is no interest on the bonds as this is a Shariah compliant product. At the end of the financial year, profits made by National Bonds Corporation from its investments will be determined and 20 per cent of this amount will be distributed amongst bond holders.
All bondholders are eligible for the profit. Your profit will be converted to Bonds which can be redeemed instantly since there is no lock in period. National Bonds corporation announced the highest annual profit rate of 7.07 per cent for its bond holders for a second consecutive year in 2008. It is the highest return against any comparable savings scheme offered by any financial institution in the UAE .
The National Bonds Shariah-compliant savings programme invests the proceeds from Bonds in establishing developmental projects in the country in compliance with the principles of Islamic Sharia through the mode of Mudaraba (fund management), and give you (the holders) indicative annual returns in addition to giving you the opportunity to win one of 101 prizes every week from National Bonds Corporation's own funds.
The Mudaraba fund is being invested back into the UAE economy through its initiatives like Taaleem an educational initiative to raise the level of education in the region, BCS a Strata Management company specialising in property management, its property development projects, Skycourts and Flamingo Creek and Souk Extra the community shopping chain.
There are 101 prizes given away every week. The total value of these prizes is Dh1,155,000. The top prize being Dh1 million.
To be eligible for the weekly Millionaire draw, minimum bondholding should be Dh10,000 and above. All bondholders are eligible for the other prizes regardless of the number of bonds they hold.
The winning National Bond numbers are randomly picked by a computer, the whole process is carried out under the supervision of Economic Department and independent international auditors, Ernst and Young. So each Dh10 Bond has a separate and equal chance of winning.
The revamped draw format, from monthly to weekly, came into effect on 9th May with the aim of encouraging and rewarding even more people to save to achieve their personal and financial aspirations.
The minimum age required to purchase National Bonds is 16 years unless purchased by a parent/guardian for a minor. The youngest millionaire to date is a 3 year old!
The minimum number of National Bonds that must be purchased in any Application is ten.
The price for a National Bond for which an Application is accepted will be Dh10. Bonds must be held for a minimum period of 30 days from the date of issuance before they can be redeemed. This restriction, however, does not apply to those Bonds that are issued as prizes or as profit distribution.
National Bonds can now be purchased from nearly 500 outlets nationwide, including exchange houses and banks, online at www.nationalbonds.ae or by calling toll free 800-BONDS (26637)
Good luck in saving and winning!
By Rajiv Shah