Frequently Asked Questions: Aquilaria Project (SSM)
Provided below are some key frequently asked question relating to our Aquilaria Project which is regulated by the Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM).
If you have any questions that are not listed here or would like further clarification please contact us. We are always available to discuss the project in further detail with you.
(1) What is Aquilaria?
Aquilaria is one of the most fascinating trees in existence. Th tree by name is unfamiliar to many but it is in fact one of the oldest trees in existence and used across the world every single day. Aquilaria has been known by a variety of names throughout history and it is culturally and religiously significant throughout the world.
Aquilaria is known as "Aloeswood", "Eaglewood" and "Agarwood" in English; "Chenxiang", "Chenshuixiang" and "Shuichenxiang" in Chinese; "Chimhyang" in Korean; "Jinko" and "Jinsui Koboku" in Japanese; "Aguru" in Sanskrit; "Oud" in Arabic; and "Gaharu" in Bahasa.
Aquilaria is also commonly referred to as the "Wood of the Gods" due to its mystical qualities and religious use across Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. Prized for its deep fragrant aroma and medicinal qualities the Aquilaria tree today is close to extinction, listed by the United Nations on its critically endangered list.
(2) Why is it Aquilaria close to extinction?
Aquilaria over the past decade has been over harvested as demand for its precious resinous heartwood commonly known as agarwood has risen. This resinous heartwood which is found within the Aquilaria tree is where the source of the trees value.
The resinous heartwood is brown and black in color, and extremely fragrant. The resin is created within the Aquilaria tree when the tree is biologically impacted by natural or artificial injury or microbial infection. In naturally occurring trees the resin can take hundreds of years to be created. Older trees contain larger amounts of resin as well as resin that is more fragrant, making them significantly more expensive than younger trees.
Aquilaria trees are close to extinction because demand for its valuable resin far excess available supply. This demand has come from a variety of industries including the fragrance, pharmaceutical , antique and religious paraphernalia industries (incense sticks and prayer breads). Luxury fragrance companies however are most to blame as Oud Oil, which is distilled from Aquilaria's dark resin, has gained considerable interest and popularity this decade. Demand has been increasingly rapidly for Oud Oil's uniquely mystifying aroma. Fragrance companies today implement Oud Oil in hundreds of their products form perfumes and colognes to aftershave and shower gels.
With prices as high as 415,000 RM/KG (100,000 USD/KG) for high quality resin it should come as no surprise that entire criminal networks have been created targeting Aquilaria via illegal poaching and black market sales. With such high prices the precious Aquilaria tree is almost certain to reach extinction soon.
Please refer to Question (4) for further information on demand.
(3) Why is Aquilaria so expensive?
With prices as high as 415,000 RM/KG (100,000 USD/KG) for high quality resinous Aquilaria, it is by far one of the most expensive woods on the planet. One reason it is so expensive is its rarity; less than 2% of wild Aquilaria trees produce sufficient amounts of the valuable resin that is required for manufacturing into fragrances, medicine and other items. The other reason is demand far surpasses available supply leading to buyers outbidding each other to purchase high quality resinous Aquilaria.
(4) Where does Aquilaria demand come from?
Aquilaria demand comes from 4 key market sectors, most of which is based on the resinous material of the tree.
The fragrance industry mostly requires Oud Oil, which is distilled from resinous Aquilaria trees, for the manufacturing of their fragrance based products. These products include perfumes and colognes to aftershave and shower gels.
Oud Oil has a deep woody alluring aroma which has traditionally been synonymous with the Middle East. This decade however has seen its appeal spread throughout the world namely into Europe and North America. Thousands of Oud Oil based fragrances exist today with luxury fragrance companies including Christian Dior, Gucci, Tom Ford being some of the most well known driving the sector.
The fragrance industry in the Middle East also use Aquilaria wood chips either ground into powder as incense or in whole form and burned. Aquilaria is culturally burnt both as tokens of hospitality and infused into clothes and garments for is fragrance.
Aquilaria has a rich and storied history of medicinal use. It has been recorded in a number of deeply important texts, such as the Sahih Muslim, a highly regarded Muslim hadith of deep religious significance which dates back to approximately the eighth century, and in the Ayurvedic medicinal text Sushruta Samhita, an ancient Sanskrit text on medicine and surgery believed to have been composed in 1000 to 1 BC.
Today, it is commonly used in traditional medicines such as Ayurvedic, Tibetan and East Asian or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Although Aquilaria has a deep and rich history of traditional medicinal usage spanning thousands of years, modern scientific research is only just now beginning to reveal its extraordinary medicinal qualities. Modern medicine is currently using ground resinous Aquilaria and distilled Oud Oil in promising cancer treatments, blood circulation medications and anti aging formulations.
A large market exists for aged Aquilaria wood from antique manufacturers and collectors as well. The market is predominantly found across Asia, namely in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The wood is delicately carved into religious or historical time period pieces with prices dictate with the age, aroma and color of the wood.
Collectors have been known to spend millions of USD worth on Aquilaria carvings. Aquilaria carvings on international auction houses Sotheby's and Christie's often fetch more than 42,000 RM (10,000 USD) a gram, which is over 100 times the price of gold.
Aquilarias deep and rich history is intertwined throughout world religions. In Islam is used as incense known as bakhoor burned directly in woodchip form or turned into charcoal for burning. Aquilaria is also used in incense form as joss sticks or wood form in Hinduism and Buddhism as well. It is also commonly carved in to beaded bracelets in Buddhism which are believed too disperse negative energy, replace it with positive energy, essentially bring good luck to those that wear it.
(5) Why is Aquilaria appealing to own and purchase?
Almost extinct supply with rising demand means that sustainable Aquilaria plantations are simply a necessity. Already known as one of the mot expensive woods in the world, prices have no choice but to increase in the future.
Exposure to Aquilaria provides a medium to long term asset that is fundamentally sound, almost extinct and growing. The appeal of the asset is even stronger today due to COVID which has brought about market volatility and uncertainty to the world.
An asset such as Aquilaria is immune to market volatility, has varied end markets and just as importantly definitely increases in value the more you hold it. Although clients can decide at what age they would like harvest their trees, one thing is for certain. The older the tree is when it is harvested, the more resin and thereby value it has. We have yet to come across another asset with such unique attributes and fundamentals.
(6) What is special about this specific Aquilaria project?
What is important to note, is that it is not so much about growing more Aquilaria trees than it is about growing Aquilaria trees that provide more valuable resin.
This project is unique in that it is one of the only ones, if not only one, to our knowledge created with sustainability at its forefront and deep community involvement from a local and legislative level. For example, the project in Malaysia has been created in close association with the University of Kuala Lumpur, one of Malaysia's leading universities. The project is also tied via R&D with the school to further improve productivity and enhance knowledge of Aquilaria. In Indonesia, a similar association has been made with The Instiper Agricultural Institute to further research and protect Aquilaria.
In addition, it is regulated by the Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) which provides security and peace of mind to all clients.
The projects close connection to R&D is significant as it enables a constant source of improvement from a managerial and yield standpoint. While 2% of wild trees are capable of creating the valuable resin we are proud to say all projects that we are involved with have been achieving a 100% infection rate.
Turn 33,750 RM to 80,000 RM +
Annual Average Return of 22.03%
All trees planted and the project is 100% operational
Experienced management team fully manages the project
Close association with prestigious universities like the University of Kuala Lumpur
Insurance provided: 100% replacement guarantee
Protecting the valuable and nearly extinct Aquilaria tree
(7) Why are you offering this Aquilaria project to others?
Aquialria trees are near extinction and securing adequate supplies of valuable Aquilaria resin sooner rather than later is necessary. As such the company has decided to open the opportunity to third parties in order to accelerate growth. It is important to note, that the company only offers clients already operational plantations with existing trees. It also keeps approximately one third of all trees for its own use.
In terms of strategy, the company is interested in securing more resources and moving downstream into higher margin activities in the long run such as distribution. Raised funds enable faster growth which requires forgoing shorter term profit from managing all trees for itself.
(8) What is the purchase price and what return can I expect?
The purchase price starts at approximately 33,750 RM for 25 Aquilaria trees.
Standard packages increase in blocks of 25.
The expected return on annualized basis is 22.03% based on a guaranteed price of 1,430 RM per tola.
Oud Oil is sold in Tola's which is a unit of weight, weighing approximately 12 ml.
(9) What costs are involved?
A 20% harvest fee and sales commission is charged at harvest.
(10) How long must I own this for?
The decision when to harvest is up to each individual client. Clients notify us of their decision and the company proceeds as declared. Clients can hold their trees up to a maximum of 15 years and harvest them as early as year 7. The older the tree the more valuable and fragrant resin it contains.
(11) How much oil does a tree produce?
Tree resin is professionally instigated by the company. As such, 100% of trees managed will contain resin compared to only 2% of trees in the wild. Oil amounts range between 2 - 4 Tola per tree, with an average of 3 Tola expected.
(12) What price is the oil sold at and is this guaranteed?
A guaranteed 1,430 RM per tola is provided which provides clients with approximately 22.03% on average. On a tree basis this is about 4,290 RM.
(13) Is anyone else involved in this Aquilaria project?
Yes, all projects involve a number of external parties includiing regulatory bodies, scientists and R&D agreements.
In Malaysia, the company is registered with the Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) and works closely with the prestigious Unversity of Kuala Lumpur. Indonesia, the company is registered with and works closely with the Badan Koordinasi Penanaman Modal (BKM) and specialized Instiper Agricultural Institute.
(14) Is any sort of insurance provided?
Yes, asset insurance is provided in the form of tree replacement and clearly indicated in all agreements clients sign. If any trees are impacted by certain factors such as fire, flooding, droughts and disease they they will be fully replaced. Please refer to the agreement should you wish to see a complete list of covered items.