Funds

Sisi's fund to establish $13 million leasing firm

Tahya Masr (Long Live Egypt) Fund, originally initiated by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to support national economy, is planning to launch a leasing firm, its executive chairman Mohamed Ashmawy said. The anticipated firm will be with a capital up to 100 million Egyptian pounds (US$13 million). The firm will help provide job opportunities for the youth. Since the fund was initiated in 2014, individuals and businessmen have contributed billions of Egyptian pounds to the fund. The fund's executive committee encompasses leading businessmen like Naguib Sawiris, former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa and a representative from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Kuwait Finance House says to set up Islamic Turkish funds firm

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) will set up a sharia-compliant asset management unit under its Turkish bank branch, the lender said on Monday. Kuwait Finance House Turk will establish five sharia-compliant investment funds and offer other investment services under KT Portfoy, the new unit, KFH said in a bourse statement. The establishment of the new firm is conditional on approval from Turkey's capital market authority. KFH's chief executive in January said it would issue Islamic bonds to boost capital reserves at its subsidiary bank in Turkey, even as it looks to restructure its global assets.

EPF to launch fully shariah-compliant fund in January 2017

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) plans to launch its first fully syariah-compliant fund by January 2017 with an initial fund size of up to RM120bil. Those who are interested in converting their savings to full shariah compliance status can do so on a first come first serve basis, EPF deputy chief executive officer of investments Datuk Mohamad Nasir Ab Latif said. The pension fund’s total investment assets grew to RM667.56bil as at September last year. Its total income for the first nine months of last year amounted to RM31.58bil. 51% of the EPF’s portfolio mix comprise of fixed income investments, while 43% is from equities. The remainder is for real estate and infrastructure as well as other investments.

Singapore Seizes Accounts Linked To 1MDB Malaysian Fund Controversy

Authorities in Singapore say they have seized a "large number" of bank accounts that various media have linked to a Malaysian government-run fund that stirred controversy around Prime Minister Najib Razak. While Singaporean authorities didn't confirm the link, the move comes days after Switzerland said it would submit evidence of illegal transactions to Malaysian authorities, asking them to help pursue the investigation. The developments come just before Najib and other Southeast Asian leaders hold a special summit with U.S. President Barack Obama in California this month. Obama is strengthening ties with the region to help counter China's growing assertiveness in the South China Sea and to tap the region's large and fast-growing economies.

Oil dive drags sharia-compliant funds down

Sharia-compliant funds have suffered their worst sales in four years as the price of oil plummets and tensions in the Middle East spook investors. Sales of the products fell more than 75 per cent last year compared with 2014. The slowdown is a big setback for the fledgling $60bn Islamic fund industry, which only began finding its feet in recent years, and raises questions about the products’ prospects. As recently as 2013, the Islamic fund industry was growing at a rate of 10 per cent a year. However, because a large number of investors in Islamic funds are based in countries dependent on oil or commodities for their wealth, the fall in the price of oil has had a large impact on sales.

Inside Bahrain's Sovereign Wealth Fund Mumtalakat

Tasked with managing the kingdom's non-oil and gas investments, Mumtalakat seeks to turn around state-owned enterprises by promoting private sector-style transparency and sound corporate governance. The $11.2 billion fund holds stakes in 38 enterprises, including many of the country's largest employers, with a total value of about $8 billion. It has undertaken major restructurings at several of these companies, including two of the most critical: Aluminum Bahrain and Gulf Air. Mumtalakat is also beginning to flex its muscles as a portfolio investor, taking significant minority stakes in three foreign companies over the past two years in a bid to diversify its holdings and provide knock-on benefits to the Bahraini economy.

Griffon Starts $108 Million Fund to Invest in Iranian Stocks

Griffon Capital, a Tehran-based firm set up by a group of international and Iranian investors in anticipation of Iran’s nuclear deal, is seeking to raise 100 million euros ($108.2 million) by the end of the year for a new offshore fund specializing in the country’s stocks. Griffon’s Iran Flagship Fund, domiciled in the Cayman Islands, is an open-ended vehicle investing mainly in the Tehran Stock Exchange and Iran Fara Bourse, the company said. Griffon will start pitching the fund in the U.K. next month. Iran is opening up to foreign investors after the lifting of international sanctions earlier this month ended a decade of isolation. Last week Charlemagne Capital Ltd. and Turquoise Partners started an institutional fund to buy Iranian securities.

Saudi Arabia plans sovereign wealth fund

Saudi Arabia plans to set up a sovereign wealth fund to manage part of its oil fortune and diversify its investments. The nation is seeking proposals from investment banks and consultants. The sovereign wealth fund is said to be focusing on businesses outside the energy industry and may be active within one to two years with an office in New York. Saudi Arabia is trying to manage declining oil prices and rising tensions among countries in the Middle East including Iran. Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets dropped to US$640 billion (RM1.97 trillion) in October, the lowest level in three years, as the oil rout strains government finances in the biggest Arab economy.

Sovereign wealth fund pullback pull-back hits Aberdeen Asset Management

The collapse in the price of oil has compounded the problems for Aberdeen Asset Management, with Europe’s third-largest listed fund house reporting its 10th consecutive quarter of net fund outflows. The Scottish-based asset manager has been battling with investor nervousness over the continued turmoil in its core regions, but net redemptions have been exacerbated by oil-producing countries pulling money from their wealth funds to make up for a loss of export earnings. Aberdeen suffered net outflows of almost £13bn during the three months to the end of September. So far this year, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency — the world’s third-largest sovereign fund with $661bn invested — has withdrawn about $70bn from external asset managers to support its economy.

Bahrain's Arcapita and Saudi's Al Rajhi Capital exit real estate fund

Bahrain-based Arcapita has sold real estate assets it jointly held with Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Capital for 1.35 billion Saudi riyals ($359.81 million), the two companies said in a joint statement. The ARC Real Estate Fund, which had a lifespan of five years, acquired seven assets in logistics, warehousing and retail in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, they said in the statement. The fund appointed an external consultant to advise on the sale in April. They did not say who they had sold the assets to. Al Rajhi Capital is the investment banking arm of Saudi Arabian lender, Al Rajhi Bank.

Robin Hood Coop, an Activist Hedge Fund

Now here is an improbable idea:an activist hedge fund.Out of Tampere, Finland, comes the Robin Hood Asset Management Coop, which legally speaking, is an investment cooperative. It is designed to skim the cream off of frothy investments in the stock market to help support commoners. As the website for the coop describe it:
We use financial technologies to democratize finance, expand financial inclusion and generate new economic space.Robin Hood’s proposition is no different than it was 600 years ago in Sherwood: arbitrage the routes of wealth and distribute the loot as shared resources. Today we just use different methods to achieve the same:we analyze big data, write algorithms, deploy web-based technologies and engineer financial instruments to create and distribute surplus profits for all. Why? Simply, we believe a more equitable world is a better one.

Franklin Templeton to set up syariah funds in KL

The world's second-largest asset manager by market value plans to attract some of the US$376 billion (S$528 billion) parked in Malaysian bank deposits by setting up global Islamic stock and bond funds next year.
Franklin Templeton Investments, which has more than US$801 billion in assets, will seek approval from the regulator to start at least two syariah-compliant funds to serve as offshoots from the three it has in Luxembourg, country head Sandeep Singh said in an interview in the Malaysian capital last week.
That would complement similar investment options available from CIMB- Principal Asset Management and RHB Islamic International Asset Management.
The new funds will widen choices for Malaysians looking to diversify after this year's 17 % plunge in the ringgit and a political scandal hurt confidence. A looming US interest rate increase has already prompted global investors to offload twice as many stocks in the South-east Asian nation as they did for all of last year as well as to cut bond holdings.

Waqf Fund hosts tenth Sharia Scholar Session

The Waqf Fund, a Bahrain-based special fund to support Islamic finance training, education and research, hosted its tenth Sharia Scholar session with Dr. Abdulbari Mash'al. Dr. Mashal made a presentation on "What Sharia Reviewers can do to enhance Sharia governance and compliance at Islamic banks". This was followed by an interactive two hour session during which the participants asked questions and gave their comments. Dr. Mash'al explained the general internal Sharia control environment of an Islamic bank and then focused on governance and Sharia compliance. He also explained the interplay between internal Sharia compliance and internal Sharia audit. Dr. Mash'al explained how inherent risks pass through the protection pillar or filter of internal Sharia supervision and the Sharia non-compliance risk is subjected to internal Sharia audit procedures to reduce the likelihood of such risks occurring. If the process is robust it will substantially reduce Sharia non-compliance risk. He emphasized that in order to be effective the internal Sharia auditor has to demonstrate independence and objectivity, technical competence and due care.

Aberdeen Eyes Offshore Islamic Fund in Q1 of 2016

Aberdeen Asset Management plans to launch a new Islamic compliant fund to invest in overseas assets in the first quarter of next year, president director Sigit Pratama Wiryadi said on Thursday.
Aberdeen, a local unit of the Scottish fund manager of the same name, will be among the first funds in Indonesia to take advantage of recently loosened Financial Services Authority (OJK) rules allowing local fund managers to include foreign assets in portfolios. An OJK regulation issued last week announced managers are now permitted to invest between 51 and 100 % of shariah mutual fund products in overseas securities — from bonds, to stocks and currency.
Bharat Joshi, investment director at Aberdeen, said the fund manager would look for assets in Asia Pacific, the United States and Europe to include in the new fund. Aberdeen currently manages around Rp 2 trillion ($147 million) of the country's equities and bonds. The fund has previously said it is looking to increase assets fivefold over the next five years.

i-VCAP introduces MyETF-AGRI to tap into long-term potential of agribusiness

The launch of MyETF-AGRI, the firm’s second Islamic ETF issued this year, brings the number of Shari’ah compliant ETFs in Malaysia to four and 18 in total in the world.
The global ETF market has closed in on the $3 trillion mark with Shari’ah-compliant ETFs only registering about $320 million of that total. In Malaysia, Shari’ah-compliant ETFs make up of over 30 % of the ETF market.
Malaysia does lead the pack, however, with the most Shari’ah-compliant ETF products in the world. Malaysia’s four Shari’ah-compliant ETFs account for some $75 million or 23 % of the global Shari’ah-Compliant ETF segment.
The launch of this landmark Fund represents many firsts for the industry including being the first agricultural-related Islamic ETF globally and the first sectoral Islamic ETF in the region while reinforcing Malaysia’s position as the global hub for Islamic finance and investment products.
MyETF-AGRI will look to invest in the 30 constituent companies that make up the Thomson Reuters Asia Pacific ex-Japan Islamic Agribusiness Index and in substantially the same weightings as they appear on the benchmark index.

BMA Funds signs trust deed for Islamic income scheme

BMA Asset Management Company Limited (BMA Funds), a non banking finance company, formally signed the trust deed for its forthcoming Islamic income scheme, BMA Minhaj Islamic Income Fund at CDC Pakistan. The event brought together the representatives from CDC, trustee of the BMA Minhaj Islamic Income fund, and the senior management of BMA Asset Management Company Limited.

Following the same trend of leadership, BMA Minhaj Islamic Income Fund will offer a unique one of its kind scheme for investors who wish to benefit from the equity market and at the same time seek capital appreciation that adheres to shariah principles. It primarily aims to generate superior risk adjusted returns to earn a stable halal income over medium to long term by investing in fixed income instruments present in Pakistan debt market.

Guidance investments announces first closure of logistics real estate investment fund targeting GCC investors

Guidance Investments has announced the first closure of its Logistics Real Estate Investment Fund, South East Asia's first Fund focused on the logistics and industrial sectors, at USD 100 million. The first close puts the Fund in a strong position to hit its target of USD 400 million with a number of additional closings planned over the next 18 months. A Malaysian financial organization is the anchor investor of the landmark Fund. Other investors include pension funds, a supra-national institution, endowment funds and family offices from the GCC and the Middle East. The Fund has secured 3 transactions to-date, with a steady pipeline in active negotiations.

Al-Arafah donates CSR fund

Al-Arafah Islami Bank Ltd has donated a fund worth Tk 2.0 million for development of research on constructing crop cold storages at affordable costs. Professor Dr M Monjur Hossain of Rajshahi University received the fund from the bank under its CSR activities. Chairman of Al-Arafah Islami Bank Ltd Badiur Rahman and the bank’s managing director Mohammad Habibur Rahman were present in a ceremony arranged on the occasion, according to a statement.

First Islamic Investment Fund launched in Kumasi

An Islamic Investment Fund has been launched in Kumasi with the objective of reviving economic activities within Muslim communities. The Shari’a complaint financial system is to mobilize funds from the Muslim Ummah for development, whilst creating jobs for the teeming youth in need of jobs. The Fund is initiated by the Ahlussunna WalJama’a Ashanti Regional Imam (ASWAJ) to offer “ethical investment” tools to investors seeking to invest in profitable “halal” business ventures which have minimal risk but good potential for growth. A Gh100,000 is to be raised in the initial public offering of 200 shares at a share value of Gh500 per share.

GCC Pension funds worth US$397 billion: EY

Across the GCC, public pension funds amount to US$397 billion, representing nearly a quarter of GDP and US$15,000 per national. This is according to EY's GCC Wealth and Asset Management 2015 report - "Fast growth, divergent paths". GCC Governments are relooking at existing models of both public and international pension funds to ensure they are sustainable. The size of GCC pension funds is relatively low, compared with employer-provided pension funds in the UK, for example, where these assets are larger than GDP and funds per individual are nearly four times the GCC average. There will be significant changes in the way GCC pension provision is looked at in the coming years because the current system may find it difficult to cope with the needs of GCC residents.

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