Funds

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.

QInvest launches sharia'a-compliant real estate fund in partnership with Pramerica Real Estate Investors

QInvest has launched the QInvest Pramerica Liquid Real Estate Fund in partnership with Pramerica Real Estate Investors, the real estate investment management business of U.S.-headquartered Prudential Financial, Inc. Pramerica will serve as the subadvisor of the Fund. The new Fund will invest exclusively in high yielding sharia'a-compliant real estate investment trusts and other real estate-related securities, sourced globally by the fully dedicated real estate securities team at Pramerica. The new Fund will be hosted on QMAP, QInvest's managed account platform.

Wethaq Egypt to launch property fund next November

Egypt's Wethaq Takaful Insurance is to launch its first real estate fund during upcoming general assembly scheduled for next November, head of financial and administration affairs Abdel El Aziz Labib said. Wethaq will present 50 million Egyptian pounds (US$6.4 million) as an initial capital for the new fund. The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) has granted initial approval for the fund. Wethaq intends to raise the capital of its fund to 250 million pounds within few years after inception, a step toward a plan to launch another fund. Furthermore, Labib said Wethaq's talks with the Egyptian regulator had also included a proposal to establish a new subsidiary to manage the new fund. The new subsidiary shall be 20% owned by Wethaq Egypt, he added.

Jadwa Investment completes global distribution agreement with Allfunds Bank

Saudi Arabian investment management and advisory firm Jadwa Investment has completed a distribution agreement with European platform Allfunds Bank (AFB) to offer shariah-compliant mutual funds to international investors across AFB’s global platform. Under the terms of the agreement, Jadwa’s portfolio of public equity and fixed income funds will be accessible across AFB’s worldwide network of 33 countries, including commercial banks, private banking institutions, fund managers, insurance and takaful companies and fund supermarkets. Jadwa Investment will be the only investment firm to provide actively managed and passively managed (indexed) shariah-compliant funds.

LCP launches UK's only Sharia-compliant fund

The London Stock Exchange already boasts 53 Sukuk issues, raising more than $38bn. It has a mounting presence in Sharia-compliant Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) too, with seven available based on Islamic indices. In addition, Takaful has reached a new high in the UK, with premiums estimated to have reached $30bn in 2012. However, since the launch of the Sovereign Sukuk, there has been a general hush around the subject, with the Government not considering another one in the near future. While investors will find a number of other commercial funds to take its place, curiously, there remain few opportunities to invest in Sharia-compliant residential funds. That gap in the market has been seized by the residential funds and asset manager, London Central Portfolio (LCP).

Shariah Compliant, Globally Diversified

Islamic financial institutions have $2 trillion in assets under management, and this is likely to grow to $3 trillion in the next three to five years. The Shariah-compliant Azzad Wise Capital Fund offers an investment opportunity not only to Muslim investors but to anyone looking to invest in an alternative, non-correlated fixed-income fund with less volatility. The Fund currently has almost $100 million in assets under management. It pursues long-term income and capital preservation by investing primarily in Islamic Bonds and interest-free bank deposits and notes issued primarily by overseas banks in developing countries. A small portion of the Fund’s assets may be invested in dividend-yielding stocks.

Kremlin moves to attract Islamic funds

Russia may amend its financial regulations to allow Islamic banking in a bid to attract funds from Muslim countries, as its economy struggles with a recession and Western sanctions. The move comes as economists, including those at the International Monetary Fund, say U.S. and European sanctions are having a significant negative impact on the Russian economy by blocking important Russian companies from accessing global financial markets. Officials have created a task force charged with implementing Islamic banking in the country, including amending the country’s banking laws, said Dmitry Savelyev, deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets and the leader of the task group.

Islamic fund manager reaches $100 million milestone

The fund manager behind the first private Islamic superannuation fund in the world, Crescent Wealth, has passed $100 million in funds under management. The benchmark figure was passed after the Australia-based group reported a 245 per cent growth in funds under management for the 2015 financial year with the group tapping into demand for ethical Islamic investment products. Crescent Wealth launched the first private Islamic superannuation fund in the world in 2013 growing fund members close to ten-fold between the 2014 and 2015 financial years to reach 4200 members, with an expectation of further growth due to interest from overseas investors.

Australian Islamic Fund Manager Crescent Wealth hits $100million milestone

Australia-based Islamic fund manager Crescent Wealth is now managing over $100 Million in Islamic Super and Investments. This makes Crescent Wealth not only one of Australia’s fastest growing Super funds, but also one of the best performing with many of their funds market leaders in their respective sectors. This is a remarkable achievement for a company that launched the world’s first private Islamic pension fund a little over 2 years ago. Crescent Wealth’s International Equity Fund was ranked as the #1 Top Performing Ethical Fund returning 27.9% after fees (ranking by Financial Express for the 2015 financial year). Since its launch on 22 February 2013 to 30 June 15, the same fund has achieved a great total return of 60.65%.

Quantum Investment Bank and Palma launch a new Shari’ah compliant aircraft leasing fund with Airbus

Quantum Investment Bank Limited and Palma Capital Limited, both based in the Dubai International Financial Centre have been retained as the exclusive placement agents for the launch of a Shari’ah compliant aircraft leasing fund (ALIF Fund) to be managed by the International Airfinance Corporation (IAFC) with Airbus and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) as anchor investors and strategic partners. With a targeted size of $5 billion from a combination of equity and debt, the fund will focus exclusively on Airbus aircraft. The objective of the Fund is to achieve a risk adjusted medium to long-term capital appreciation while generating a quarterly cash dividend to investors.

First Islamic property fund of subcontinent: over Rs 22.23 billion Dolmen City REIT launched

The first Rs 22.237 billion Islamic rental property fund of the subcontinent was launched at Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) Monday. The two-day book building process for the country's first Rental Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), Dolmen City REIT (DCR), was initiated by Sindh Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah here at KSE trading hall. The initial public offering (IPO) envisages a total of 555.92 million units, 75 percent or 416.94 million shares would be offered to institutions and high net worth individuals (HNWIs) through book building on June 8-9. The balance 138.98 million or 25 percent units would go to retail subscribers on June 12.

Islamic mutual funds fall short of global demand -study

Islamic mutual funds are growing again after a slump that lasted years, but the sector still falls short of meeting demand for sharia-compliant investment products, a study by Thomson Reuters and its subsidiary Lipper showed. Many firms pulled out of the sector around 2008 because of the global financial crisis and as sliding equity markets reduced investor interest. Islamic mutual funds globally now hold $53.2 billion of assets under management, recovering from a low of $25.7 billion in 2008, the study found. The total number of Islamic mutual funds reached 943 in 2014, up from 828 a year earlier. Further growth is expected, with the study projecting the funds will grow 8 percent annually to reach $76.7 billion by 2019.

RHB Adds Shariah Funds in Hong Kong Seeking Greater China Access

A year after debuting an Islamic investment fund in Hong Kong, RHB Asset Management Sdn. plans two more as it seeks to develop awareness in the Chinese market. The first of the new funds, which will target Shariah-compliant stocks and bonds, is due to start this month and the second by the end of September, Ho Seng Yee, chief executive officer of the Kuala Lumpur-based company, said. The existing RHB-OSK Islamic Regional Balanced Fund, which invests in Islamic equities and fixed income, has 15.5 million ringgit ($4.3 million) of assets. While China presents significant opportunities for Islamic financial institutions, there are challenges including the need for changes to the tax laws.

Ahli Bank’s ‘Al Hilal MENA Fund’ posts 12 per cent return

Al Hilal MENA Fund (AHMF); Sharia Compliant, open-ended fund, managed by ahlibank asset management has posted commendable returns of 12 per cent year to date, as on April 30, 2015. Al Hilal MENA Fund is the first and only Sharia Compliant fund sponsored and managed by a bank in Oman. The fund invests across listed equities and sukuks issued and tradable within the GCC region. The current investments represent geographical coverage spanning Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. The diversified sector exposure constitutes investments into petrochemicals, fertilizer producers, industrial chemicals, oil and gas exploration, Islamic banking, takaful, real estate, telecom, consumer discretionary and industrial manufacturing.

Islamic REITs slowly get traction in the Middle East

The Islamic version of a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) has to follow certain principles and rules in accordance with Shariah law. Malaysia was the first country that issued guidelines for Islamic REITS as early as in 2005, whereby a Shariah committee has to assess any property to be acquired by an Islamic REIT towards non-permissible activities of prospective tenants and sub-tenants. However, a certain quota of non-permissible activities is sometimes tolerated. The Middle East also started to adapt the new concept of Islamic REITs. However, the products have not developed as rapidly as in Southeast Asia and are still more or less handled as a regional collective investment scheme.

UPDATE 1-Malaysia's EPF to offer Islamic investment option by 2017 -PM Najib

Malaysia's $160 billion state pension fund will offer an Islamic investment option to its members by 2017 which would create the world's largest sharia-compliant fund of its kind, Prime Minister Najib Razak said. The move could funnel billions of dollars into sharia-compliant asset managers in Malaysia in a boon for the country's Islamic finance sector. Najib did not specify how big he thought the sharia-compliant standalone fund could be. The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) already invests about a third of its portfolio in stocks and bonds that comply with Islamic principles. Najib said the Securities Commission is also developing a blueprint for the country's Islamic fund and wealth management industry to help chart its strategic direction.

Islamic ETFs adding potential to portfolios

Triggered by rapidly growing demand for Islamic financial instruments, Shariah-compliant exchange-traded funds (Islamic ETFs, or iETFs) are beginning to add potential to the portfolios of Muslim and ethical investors. Malaysia last week came up with the first regional Islamic ETF that will include Shariah-compliant stocks from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. It is being launched by investment firm i-VCAP Management. The region is joining the growing number of Islamic ETFs provided by large investment companies. The latest addition to the Islamic ETF family was an iETF launched by Seattle-based investment firm Falah Capital in October last year.

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