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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Noor Awqaf formed to tap Islamic finance

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed to establish a new asset management firm, specialising in Awqaf (Islamic endownments), in Dubai’s bid to become a global centre for the business of Shariah-compliant in line with the emirate’s vision to position as the world’s capital for the Islamic economy.

Ahmed Kalim, Deputy Group chief executive officer, Noor Investment Group, and Tayeb Abdel Rahman Al Rayes, secretary-general of Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (Amaf), have signed the MoU to set up Noor Awqaf LLC in the UAE. Noor Awqaf will complement the work of Amaf in offering enabling financial services to Awqaf entities around the world.

The initiative is in line with the recent announcement of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform the emirate into the world’s capital for Islamic finance and other businesses based on Islamic principles.

Noor Awqaf has been set up as an independent limited liability company, with an initial issued and paid-up share capital of Dh10 million. Noor Awqaf is 60 per cent owned by Noor Investment Group and 40 per cent by Amaf. It will manage Awqaf funds and provide other asset management services. It will also offer due diligence, financial analysis and assistance in the creation and implementation of strategic objectives for Amaf and other similar entities around the world. One of the Islamic economy sectors that will be targeted by Noor Awqaf is the $2.1 trillion Halal industry.

Noor Awqaf intends to build a business model to position Dubai as a Halal centre which facilitates and adds value to the globally expanding market force, in food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, additives and ingredients, lifestyle and services sectors.

Dr Ahmed Al Janahi, deputy group chief executive officer, Noor Investment Group, said: “The cooperation with Amaf, which is aligned with Dubai’s vision to shape the future of the Islamic economy, is in line with our strategy to give back to the society through support for charities and foundations in the UAE. We will provide expertise with respect to the set-up and management of Noor Awqaf, including fund and asset management services, the creation of appropriate legal structures and the investment of funds under management.”

Al Rayes said: “The cooperation with Noor Investment Group, to establish an independent company, will ensure the enhanced management of the Awqaf fund, in addition to extending product and financial services to other funds. Amaf will on its part provide access to its relationship with other entities and expertise in Awqaf best practices, policies and procedures.” 

(Khaleej Times / 04 March 2013)

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