Funds

Gulf Finance House targets undervalued assets in the region

Frederik Richter reported on Arabianbusiness on 1 February that Gulf Finance House is looking for acquisitions of undervalued assets in the region.

Deputy Chief Executive Mehran Jamsheer was cited.

Millennium Finance Corporation (MFC) on expansion course

Waheed Abbas from Emirates 24/7 reported on 2 February about the regional investment bank and private equity company Millennium Finance Corporation (MFC), which aims to expands its reach to Saudi Arabia, India and Nigeria through joint ventures and acquiring licences. The firm is also considering IPO.

CEO is Keba Keinde, which gave an exclusive interview with Emirates Business. Please click on the source below.

Bank of London and the Middle East plans three funds

Bank of London and the Middle East, or BLME, plans to launch at least three funds in 2009 targeting a US dollar based fixed income fund, a UK real estate distressed assets fund and an equities fund according to Adrian Gayler, the newly appointed head of private banking at BLME, told Zawya Dow Jones.

SCOTTISH Widows Investment Partnership enters Saudi market

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.

Securities Commission, Malaysia Approves 3 New Foreign Islamic Fund Managers

News Agency Bernama reported on 29 January that 3 new foreign Islamic fund management companies (IFMCs) have been approved by the Securities Commission to start operations in Malaysia:

The new companies are Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd, BNP Paribas Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd and Nomura Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd; the others who have been approved to establish operations are Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia), DBS Asset Management, CIMB-Principal Asset Management, Global Investment House and Reliance Asset Management.

Benchmark, India launches Exchange Traded Fund

Shailesh Menon reported in Economic Times on 29 January that Benchmark Asset Management is launching a Shariah-compliant open-ended exchange traded fund. The scheme opens for subscription on February 4 and closes on February 25.

Bank of Alexandria creating Islamic fund

Les Afriques reported on 27 January that the Egyptian central bank has approved the request to create an Islamic fund by Bank of Alexandria. Details are not given.

Axis REIT considers Islamic financing

The Star Malaysia reported on January 24 that AXIS Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is looking at various options to raise capital, including Islamic financing, to buy more properties. The REIT became Sharia compliant last December.

CEO is Stewart LaBrooy.

HSBC launches Amanah India Sharia Portfolio

The portfolio management services division of HSBC Asset Management has launched the actively managed, open-ended HSBC Amanah India Shariah Portfolio. The portfolio will be benchmarked against the Dow Jones Islamic Market India Index and the BSE 500.

CEO of HSBC Asset Management is Mr Vikramaaditya.

Mashreq Capital To Launch USD 50 mn Regional Sukuk Fund

Mirna Sleiman, Dow Jones Newswires reported on 19 January that Mashreq Capital will launch a USD 50 mn Sukuk fund in Q.
Abdul Kadir Hussain, CEO, sees a target return of between 12% and 20% over the next 12 months.

Global Investment House begins operations in Saudi Arabia

Global-Saudi is an investment bank with a capital of 50 million Saudi riyals. It carries out conventional and Islamic financial services such as the establishment and management of investment funds, portfolio management, international brokerage, private and public placement, underwriting, advisory, dealings as a principal and as an agent as well as custody. Additionally, Global-Saudi obtained approval from the Authority to launch 3 Investment Funds, which are the Global GCC Market Fund, Global GCC Equity Fund and Global Saudi Equity Fund (Noor Fund).

HLTM Takaful launches capital protection investment-linked scheme

HLTM Takaful launches capital protection investment-linked scheme called The Alpha Crescent Investment Plan, which is a 3-year 100% capital protected plan. It is based on the concept of murabahah and wa’ad where the potential investment returns at maturity were referenced against the performance of the Alpha Crescent Index.

HLTM Takaful, which is managing the plan, said it would be distributed by Hong Leong Bank Bhd.

HLTM Takaful chief executive officer is Ab Latiff Abu Bakar.

4 million child trust funds opened in UK

A total of 4.01 million child trust funds have been opened since the scheme stated. Latest data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) show since January 2005 4.3 million child trust fund vouchers have been issued – but only three-quarters of parents are investing the vouchers. However, parents investing the average GBP 24 a month into an account could provide their offspring with GBP 9,750 at the age of 18, according to estimates from the Children’s Mutual.

Source: 

http://www.myfinances.co.uk/news/investments/child-trust-fund/4m-child-trust-funds-now-open-$1259681.htm

Gulf Finance House launches USD 3 bn project in Tunisia

Xinhua reported on 9 January that Gulf Finance House (GFH) launches a new USD 3 bn project in Tunisia, named "Tunis City Communication". In December 2007 GFH has already announced the "Tunis Financial Harbour", with an investment close to USD 3 bn.

New Islamic ETF

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.

Dubai launches Islamic commodity hedge fund index

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.

Crisis offsets Islamic wealth management 2008 gain

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

Islamic Commodity Investments

Devon Maylie reported on 5 January in Barron`s magazine, that commodity-focused companies and hedge funds are introducing special products that comply with Islamic law, either equity based or as direct exposure to commodities. Ian MacDonald, executive director for gold and precious metals at Dubai Multi Commodities Center is cited to claim that there are not enough effort spent on Sharia compliant commodity products so far. The DMCC is seed financing with USD 50 mn each a range of commodity oriented equity funds managed by BlackRock Capital Management, Tocqueville Asset Management, Zweig-DiMenna International Managers and Lucas Capital Management on its platform in partnership with US based Shariah Capital. London-based ETF Securities last year launched an exchange-traded fund for precious metals that is being marketed to Sharia investors. The World Gold Council is also partnering with DMCC to launch a similar product in March.

Rasmala MENA Private Equity Fund 2 announces first closing with USD 120 million

Arabianbusiness reported on 5 January the successful first closing of the Sharia compliant fund Rasmala MENA Private Equity Fund 2, with USD 120 million in commitments received. The fund is primarily focused on mid-cap opportunities in the GCC and Egypt that benefit from the region’s GDP growth.

Tamer Bazzari is Deputy CEO at Rasmala and member of the Fund’s investment committee.

Shariah compliant green fund launched

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.

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