MIDEAST MONEY-Islamic endowments edge towards modern management

Islamic endowments, known as awqaf, receive donations from Muslims to operate specific social projects, such as mosques, schools and welfare schemes. Over the past few decades, awqaf have amassed a vast array of assets, from real estate to cash holdings, equities and even valuable books. However, the management of these assets has failed to keep up with their expansion. Basic changes in asset management methods could improve awqaf yields globally by between 1.5 and 2 percentage points. It can therefore be a source of long-term liabilities that the industry is desperately seeking.