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Monday, 14 January 2013

Growing number of Mid East Shariah-compliant funds launch in Luxembourg

Luxembourg ranks fifth worldwide by number of Shariah compliant funds and the number of Middle East-based managers launching investment funds in Luxembourg has increased constantly. There are 41 regulated Shariah compliant investment funds domiciled in Luxembourg and total Assets under Management in Shariah compliant funds are estimated at $5.3bn

As such four Luxembourg-based companies are now joining forces to create a specialised platform that will service Shariah-compliant investment funds. Amanie Advisors, ADEPA Asset Management, Theisen Law, and KBL European Private Bankers have launched a service that will be branded ALIF (Alliance for Luxembourg Islamic Finance), offering fund managers a service to have their custodianship and fund servicing carried out in a Shariah-compliant manner.

Specifically assets will be held in segregated pools and prohibited from being used for short-selling or as security for interest-based lending, two activities prohibited under Islamic law. ALIF aims to compete on price and service in order to take advantage of the growing number of such funds in the market. 

Commenting on the launch, Carlos Alberto Morales, CEO of ADEPA Asset Management, said: "Our clients will be able to take advantage of all the benefits of the Luxembourg fund structures and also have their funds administered locally in a professional and transparent way, and in a way that is in keeping with the religious practice."

The ALIF service will feature legal work covered by Theisen Law, a well-established and leading law firm active in Luxembourg; as well as the Islamic Finance expertise by Amanie Advisors. 

Funds registered by ALIF will be registered under the Luxembourg fund regime and be established to comply with Islamic prohibitions on investing in gambling, interest-based banking, alcohol and pornography-related industries, amongst others. Additionally, the securities will be disallowed as security for lending activities. 

The portfolios and processing of these funds will be periodically reviewed by the Shariah Supervisory Board of Amanie Advisors, which is comprised of Dr. Mohamed Ali Elgari, Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar, Dr. Muhammad Amin Ali Qattan, and Dr. Osama Al Dereai.

Commenting on Amanie Advisor's role in ALIF Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar, Amanie's founder and group chairman commented, "For many years the market for Islamic funds has concentrated on the Shariah-compliant investment of the assets only. Whilst this is important, it is a great development to have one efficient service that assures the compliance of both the investment activities as well as the administration and custody of Islamic funds."

(Ameinfo.Com / 14 Jan 2013)

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