Funds

ICD ready to expand agricultural project financing in #Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan and Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) will discuss the opportunities of financing the country's agriculture. The topic will be discussed by ICD's general driector Khaled Al-Aboodiin during his visit in Baku on May 31. The agricultural projects will be financed through the new Food and Agribusiness Fund with an authorized capital of $600 million. The fund will mainly focus on the production optimization of the companies working in agriculture and a decrease in their logistics inefficiency.

Global calls for Najib's head to roll: #1MDB triggers massive shake-up in financial world

#Malaysia could find fame for triggering a new, more effective level of regulatory cooperation between the financial centres of the world. This can be the positive result from landing at the centre of the world’s biggest money-laundering investigation. Investigators are working closely to trace the US$7 bn gone missing from the 1MDB fund into a network of off-shore companies before emerging once again in the bank accounts of politically connected Malaysians. Meanwhile, the Government of Malaysia is continuing to act as if nothing has happened. Prime Minister Najib has been impeding investigations at home, but worldwide he is a smaller player. His political connections cannot save him from the independent justice departments of the various financial centres involved.

1MDB Bond Fates Diverge as Abu Dhabi Vow Trumps Najib Support

The fates of 1MDB bonds are diverging this month: those guaranteed by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund have rallied, while notes with support from Malaysia’s own government have dropped. 1MDB's 4.4% 2023 notes, backed by the government, slumped 6.4% in May, set for the worst slide in 16 months. The fund’s 5.99% 2022 bonds, backed by Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment gained 1.9%. The contrast reflects growing investor concern about the Malaysian government backing as Najib grapples with an economy forecast to expand at the slowest pace in seven years amid a collapse in oil prices.

New global Islamic #venturecapitalfund enters business

A venture capital fund based on Islamic finance principles will be initiated by the end of May. It is the result of a joint initiative of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and Malaysia’s state-owned investment firm Malaysia Venture Capital Management. According to Treasury secretary Irwan Serigar Abdullah the initial fund size would be $100mn and could be bulked up later. In the first stages, the venture capital fund would be utilised to finance startup companies in Malaysia and the entire Southeast Asia region and could later be extended to finance entrepreneurial initiatives in other Islamic countries.

EPF makes new strides in ESG investing

#Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) announced plans to divest its stakes in tobacco businesses and focus on investing in assets deemed socially and environmentally responsible. CEO Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said EPF plans to dispose of its stake in British American Tobacco (Malaysia), despite not outlining a specific timeframe for the move. The first fully shariah-compliant fund (EPF-i) is planned to launch in January 2017 with an initial fund size of between 80 and 100 bin ringgit. Preparing for the launch of the EPF-i, the fund had increased its exposure to shariah-compliant investments covering multi-asset classes to about 40% of total investments.

EPF: Members welcome syariah scheme

In #Malaysia the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) expects 1.5 mn to 2 mn members to convert their contributions to the syariah-compliant fund in the first year of implementation. CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said 71% of the members agreed on the need for the Islamic pension scheme called Simpanan Shariah. Simpanan Shariah’s initial fund size will be RM120 bn. EPF is in the process of classifying its assets as syariah-compliant and conventional, with about 40% of its assets now fully syariah-compliant.

#Privatefunding will be "critical" for MidEast projects - survey

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has calculated that, if oil prices remain low, the fiscal deficits of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Algeria will total almost $900 bn between 2016 and 2021. The non-oil sector in the GCC is projected to grow at an average rate of 3.25% per year over the next five years, compared to an average of 7.75% between 2006 and 2015. Thus, regional governments are being forced to review their expenditure plans. A recent PwC survey found that 75% of the more than 130 owners have already been impacted by funding constraints, while 65% forecast they will have less to spend next year.

Zakat to promote equitable redistribution of wealth and foster a sense of solidarity among the Muslims

On the annual distribution of Zakat by the Elders Consultative Forum of Supreme Council for Shariah in #Nigeria Abiola Ajimobi called on the Muslims to address the effective, efficient collection and management of Zakat fund. One of the beneficiaries of the Zakat distribution, Ridwan Olalekan, who spoke on behalf of others, promised to make judicious use of the items.

Hong Kong bank funds said frozen in 1MDB probe by #Singapore and other authorities

Hong Kong bank accounts belonging to several unnamed individuals have been frozen amid global investigations into the finances of the Malaysian state fund 1MDB. Owners are being probed by authorities in countries outside of Malaysia. Authorities in Singapore charged two men following investigations into their dealings with the fund. A Malaysian parliamentary committee had identified at least US$4.2 billion of irregular transactions by the fund.

Australian Islamic Fund Manager Now in Singapore

Usman Siddiqui, the Managing Director of Equitable Financial Solutions (EFSOL), a Australian Islamic finance company announced the establishment of the company’s office in Singapore. The Singapore branch, which is registered as EFSOL Asset Management, will play a key role in the company’s regional strategy. EFSOL also announced the offering of its investment scheme, the EFSOL Income Fund, registered under the Monetary Authority of Singapore as a restricted Collective Investment Scheme.

Sovereign wealth funds uplift Muslim world with Fajr Capital

Backed by sovereign funds Iqbal Khan and his private equity firm Fajr Capital invests for financial and social returns ins Muslim countries. Fajr is a union of institutions that have high credibility and share the same values. CEO Iqbal Khan sees it as his mission to broaden the educated Muslim middle class.

Singapore: EthisCrowd targets $740k for real estate crowdfunding project in Jakarta

EthisCrowd.com, a Shariah compliant crowdfunding platform, is looking to raise up to S$1 million ($740,000) for a real estate crowdfunding initiative from senior executives and delegates present at the Global Islamic Finance Forum 5.0 in Kuala Lumpur next month. The funds will be raised for the Depok Dream Village in Jakarta. Founder Umar Munshi said he expects the projected returns to be 48 to 55 per cent over three to 3.5 years from a share of the development profits.

Malaysian Pension Fund to Start $26 Billion Islamic Saving Plan

CEO Shahril Ridza Ridzuan announced that the Employees Provident Fund aims to open the Shariah-compliant plan in January 2017 and is targeting an initial size of as much as 100 billion ringgit ($26 billion). There’s strong demand and 1.5 million of its 6.7 million members should switch in the first year. EPF has a minimum guaranteed annual payout of 2.5 percent. The Islamic fund won’t have a minimum dividend as they can’t be guaranteed under Koranic rules.

SEC Approves Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund

Following the approval of the Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund offer by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lotus Capital Limited held the signing ceremony in respect of the Offer on April 14, 2016. The offer has an initial subscription size of N1,000,000,000.00 consisting of 1,000,000 units at N1,000 per unit. The Fund will be launched upon receipt of final approval from SEC. The primary objective of the fund is to generate returns from investments in Shari’ah compliant fixed income securities and contracts, while ensuring capital preservation. A minimum investment of N5,000 is required.

Dubai, Chinese firms to launch Islamic fund to invest in China

Shariah-compliant firm Mawarid Finance and Fullgoal Asset Management from Hong Kong will launch an Islamic fund later this year in order to tap opportunities in China. Michael Chow, Managing Director and Head of International Business at Fullgoal Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited, said his company tied up with the Dubai-based firm, hence opening door for the investors here to capitalise on the business opportunities offered by the world’s second largest economy. Chow expects Mawarid to design Shariah-compliant products for the investors over the next couple of months and the two entities will launch an Islamic fund later this year.

Indian banks have capacity to launch South Asian Shariah Fund

The leading Indian banks have the capacity to launch a South Asian Shariah Fund to capitalize the region's untapped market for Islamic finance which requires multi-billion dollars of financing annually. Indian banks are in a position to lead the Shariah fund for the region, given their global network which includes facilitating Islamic banking and financing in one way or another, observed Ariff Sultan, regional director for Asia Pacific at the US-based global Shariah compliance product screening group, IdealRatings. Sultan said IdealRatings has been approached by a number of Islamic Banking-linked investors to screen opportunities for placing their funds in the Indian market. But there are regulatory restrictions.

SECP amended investment parameters for Islamic mutual fund industry

In order to foster the growth of Islamic mutual fund industry, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has revised the investment parameters for Shariah Compliant open end collective investment schemes. The Commission allowed the Islamic mutual funds to include the Government of Pakistan Ijarah Sukuk not exceeding 90 days remaining maturity in cash and near cash instruments requirement. Shariah Compliant open end collective investments schemes has not seen the issuance of short term Islamic Government papers like T-Bills, therefore, Government Ijarah Sukuk having remaining maturity of 90 days or less is the only viable and available avenue for investment in cash and near cash equivalent.

Islamic mutual fund increases social impact with trade finance investments

Azzad Asset Management today announced that it has further magnified the social impact of its flagship mutual fund by adding investments in ethical trade finance deals. These investments may provide returns for investors while helping underserved populations in Asia and Africa obtain reasonable financing to grow businesses and cooperatives. The Azzad Wise Capital Fund (WISEX) invests primarily in sukuk and community development banks. Through WISEX, the Virginia-based investment firm is participating in a group of syndicated ethical trade finance deals arranged by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC). The ITFC is charged with advancing trade and improving the economic conditions of people around the world.

Indonesia sees rush of Islamic mutual fund products that can invest in offshore instruments

Indonesia fund management companies are readying to market Islamic/shariah-based mutual funds that will invest in offshore instruments. This follows Indonesia’s regulation, announced late last year, that allows shariah mutual funds to use at least 51 per cent of their investment components in offshore instruments such as bonds and stocks. The move is seen to allow investors an option to diversify their investments and deepen the country’s shariah mutual funds market. In addition to this, the government also allowed these funds to invest up to 100 per cent of their shariah mutual funds units in overseas bonds. With the change in regulations, a host of fund management firms have announced their plans to launch products that will invest in offshore instruments.

Alkhabeer Capital unveils IPO Fund

Alkhabeer Capital, an asset management and investment firm in Saudi Arabia, has announced the launch of Alkhabeer IPO Fund. The Alkhabeer IPO Fund is a Sharia Compliant, Open-Ended Investment Fund targeting IPOs and newly listed companies in Saudi Arabia during their first three years on the market. The fund may also invests part of its assets in the same at other GCC capital markets. Ahmed Saud Ghouth, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Alkhabeer Capital, commented that year-on-year the firm has reported increases in assets under management and has assessed the IPO performance of securities in the GCC, which have seen improvements in the money raised over 2015.

Syndicate content