Ellina Badri reported in The Edge Daily about the memorandum of understanding between Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd and Bank Muamalat Indonesia Bhd for the distribution of Islamic trust products.
Islamic trusts involve investments made following syariah principles and asset distribution according to Islamic rules of succession. The range of Islamic trust products include will-writing and estate administration services, and waqf, or a gift of property for religious or charitable purposes.
Siriporn Chanjindamanee reported in The Nation on 3 February that the Stock Exchange of Thailand is planning to launch a Shariah 50 index early next quarter before going on a roadshow to the Middle East in the second half. The index would combine 50 listed stocks, making up 47 per cent of the SET's market capitalisation, that are Sharia tolerated.
According to Santi Kiranand, head of market development, have SET and FTSE jointly developed the Shariah index while the selection of the 50 firms was performed by the Yasaar.
The SET also plans to launch a social responsibility index. It is selecting foreign experts, including FTSE, to help develop the index by the third quarter.
Emirates NBD has launched a fund to take advantage of the high yields currently available in Sukuk following the steep price declines in Q4 2008 caused by the wider turmoil in global financial markets. The Shari’a-compliant Fund targets annualized returns of c.12% over the next four years.
Jamal Bin Ghalaita, General Manager of Consumer Banking and Wealth Management at Emirates NBD, sees Sukuk as undervalued after panic selling last year.
Minimum investment of USD 25,000 for individual investors and USD 1,000,000 for institutional investors. The secondary sukuk market is difficult to access but, by investing through the Fund, investors benefit from scale, diversification, and the skills of expert fund managers. Should the Fund meet certain return targets, the Fund will be called and gains will be locked in for investors.
BNP Paribas Investment Partners currently manages about half a billion USD in Sharia compliant assets and targets according to the chief executive MENA Tariq Al Samahiji to multiply this amount. The bank currently offers equity Sharia management and has recently started marketing its first Islamic bond or sukuk fund.
Al Samahiji expected the sukuk fund to attract investments from institutions and wealthy individuals, but stressed BNP would not market the fund to the retail market.
Caspionet reported on 28 January, that Darakhim Sukuk Basket have been presented in Kazakhstan. It is expected that insurance companies, unit investment funds and pension funds will become the chief buyers of the new investment offer. Basically, they represent the companies of the Middle Eastern states, so they are issues of the central bank of Bahrain, the government of the Arab emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. It is expected that the profitability will amount to 10 % at a minimum with a circulation period of 3 years.
The Scotsman reported on 29 January that SCOTTISH Widows Investment Partnership has launched a joint venture with Manar Financial Investment Company; Swip Saudi Asset Management. It will mainly focus on investment in the insurance sector, but will also manage shariah-compliant global emerging market equities.
TradeArabia reported on 27 January that the Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME), will be extending its wealth management division with the launch of a private banking business. The new project will be headed by the newly appointed head of private banking Adrian Gayler, who joins BLME from Merrill Lynch International Bank Limited. Gayler will be based in BLME’s new private banking offices in Mayfair, London, along with the already established specialist wealth management team
Press Release - full text attached:
New York (January 27, 2009) — Based on the close of trading on January 26, the global Dow Jones Islamic Market Titans 100 Index, which measures the performance of 100 of the leading Shari’ah compliant stocks globally, lost -5.55% month-to-date, closing at 1646.71. In comparison, the Dow Jones Global Titans 50 Index, which measures the 50 biggest companies worldwide, posted a loss of -9.00%, closing at 131.03.
- The Dow Jones Islamic Market Asia/Pacific Titans 25 Index, which measures the performance of 25 of the leading Shari’ah compliant stocks in the Asia/Pacific region, decreased -9.90%, closing at 1252.00. The Dow Jones Asian Titans 50 Index, in comparison, posted a loss of -11.40%, closing at 90.89.
- Measuring Europe, the Dow Jones Islamic Market Europe Titans 25 Index, which measures the performance of the 25 of the leading Shari’ah compliant stocks in Europe, closed at 1596.39, a loss of -7.60%, while the pan-European blue chip Dow Jones STOXX 50 Index lost -10.97%, closing at 1926.07.
Mushtak Parker reported in Arab News on 26 January about the launch of Falcom Sharia Index licensed by Tadawul (the Saudi stock exchange). The promoters claim that this index is the first of its kind on the Tadawul, and comprises some 112 companies which in turn comprise nearly 78 percent of the Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI).
US based Javelin Investment Management LLC plans to launch the JETS Dow Jones Islamic Market International Index Fund according to the Wall Street Journal on 8 January. Further details were not provided.
Reuters reported on 7 January that the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCC) and Shariah Capital launched an index tracking the performance of Islamic hedge funds investing in commodities.The index performance will be calculated and reported by Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO). The index is based on four hedge funds, part of the DSAM Kauthar Commodity Fund and investing in gold, energy, natural resources and mining. Each fund has received start capital of $50 million from the DMCC.
Guardian reported based on Reuters on 7 January that market volatility wiped out all of the asset gains made by the Islamic fund management industry in the year to September 2008, citing US-based research and data provider Cerulli Associates. Sharia-compliant fund managers had assets of USD 65 bn at the end of the 3rd quarter 2008, including assets managed via discretionary mandates for institutions and high net-worth individuals and mutual funds. Assets invested in Islamic-compliant mutual funds rose by 50 % while the number of such funds doubled in the three years to 2008. Islamic mutual funds alone accounted for USD 35 bn-- up from USD 23.2 bn gathered in 2005. Sukuk funds remained a rare offering. Once markets stabilise this industry can potentially expand at a rate of above 10 % a year, the report said. Saudi Arabia is currently the largest domestic market for shariah investments. Challenges named in a poll by Cerulli were named the Sharia compliance costs, convincing investors of the Sharia compliance, the discrepancy in Sharia standards and the lack of 3rd party distribution.
Report order form: http://www.cerulli.com/pdfs/2008_Shariah_Info_Packet.pdf
Hedge Fund Review reported on 22 December about the Falcon Fund launched by Da Vinci Invest of Zurich, aiming to invest in the carbon markets and forestry.
The fund will actively trade the carbon markets on a short-term basis and invest in forestry for the long term. Da Vinci Invest expects this strategy provide consistent value growth, diversification and an environmental benefit. Rainforest Invest, Forest Finance and Miller Forest will source opportunities in Panama, Costa Rica and Paraguay.
Only land formerly used for agricultural will be planted. No rainforest will be cut to farm the plantations. The Da Vinci Green Falcon Fund will charge a 2% management fee and a 20% incentive fee.
Da Vinci Invest, incorporated in 2004 as a UK company, is based in Zug.
Philip Liu CENS.com reported on 2 April that it plans to roll out Islam ETF in the second quarter this year.
The firm is also in talks with Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) for licensing of its Taiwan Islam Index for use in issuing the Islam ETF in Abu Dhabi. The MSCI Taiwan Islam Index consists of 60 constituent stocks, selected from the over 120 constituent stocks of MSCI Taiwan Stock Index, whose operations conforms to the tenets of Islam.
Liu Tsung-sheng is president of Polaris Investment Trust.
Talal Malik reported on 14 April in Arabian Business that Dow Jones Indexes opens its first Middle East office in Dubai.
Michael A. Petronella is president of Dow Jones.
Sumeet Nihalani is Dow Jones' senior director of sales for the region.
Imran Vohra is Head of Dubai office.
Rushdi Siddiqui is global director of Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes.
Business Intelligence reported on 14 April that the "First Persia Equity Fund", opened its second-phase of subscription and it aims to raise Euro 250 m, the fund was established in July 2007 with Euro 34 mn.
Shares listed on the Teheran Stock Exchange, TEPIX, which advanced 3.9% so far this year, trade at an average of 4 or 5 times earnings. That compares to a multiple of 15 for the MSCI GCC Countries Index, a measure of more than 140 companies in six GCC states.
Stephen Austen is the fund's Managing Director. The fund is said to have outperformed the benchmark so far.
Shami Bank released on 13 April the successful closure of its USD 90 mn Shamil Bosphorus Modaraba, an investment vehicle with an expected 60 % over three years focussing on residential and mixed-use real estate developments in Istanbul, and secondary homes on the Turkish coast.
The total cost of the projects targeted is approximately USD 450 mn. Shamil Bank subscribed to 10 % of the USD 90 mn.
Abdul Hakim Al Mutawa is Investment and Private Banking Head of Shamil Bank.
Peter Cooper reported on 9 April on Business 24/7 about the Sharia compliant Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and World Gold Council. The ETF will be backed by physical Gold deposited under the Almas Tower of DMCC. After approval of the regulatory body Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) a secondary market will be operated by listing the ETF on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX).
DMCC has taken a share in London-listed Shariah Capital, which is supervising the compliance. Other Gold ETFs usually used derivatives to replicate the performance of Gold.
Andrew White reported in Arabian Business on 11 April about Swiss banks going onshore in the Middle East.
Pasha Bakhtiar, managing director at Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch (LODH) focusses over the next 10 to 20 years to grow the presence in areas with strong wealth creation, which is the case in the Middle East. Last year the bank established a formal presence in Dubai to better offer its services to existing and new clients in the GCC. Lombard sees an advantage in being a family owned bank like the family businesses in the region.
Hans Nützi, CEO at Clariden Leu agrees that Private Banking becomes more international opposed the way clients banked 5 to 10 years ago. Clariden Leu has a local 13 people asset management team in Dubai and sees demand for structured products.
Andrew England and David Oakley wrote a short briefing on 30 March in the Financial Times about a new Islamic private bank planned in Switzerland. National Bank of Kuwait is supposedly partnering with a Saudi-Arabian institution.