The event, which is the first of its kind, was well attended by the movers and shakers of the Islamic Finance industry and was initiated with a Keynote Presentation by The Deputy Governor of the Bahrain Monetary Authority Mr. Anwar Khalifa Al Sadah. Also speaking at the event was Mr. Ahmed Farid, Head of Asset Management for National Commercial Bank (NCB), Mr. Ahmed Marafi, Portfolio Manager for ALMADAR FINANCE & INVESTMENT, and Mr. Rushdi Siddiqui, Director for Dow Jones Islamic Indexes. The topics presented encompassed the future outlook of the Saudi market, The particulars of managing a US Islamic Index Fund, and the latest market trends and Islamic fund ratings.
The Islamic fund market is estimated at over $15 billion in total assets and some of the leading Islamic funds, the majority of which originate in the Gulf, were recognized for their performance at yesterday’s event. The US-based, Kuwaiti/American Islamic fund monitoring company, Failaka International, is an independent organization monitoring over half the estimated 120 Islamic equity funds worldwide. With the launching of this and future Islamic Fund Awards, Failaka is aiming to provide more information and transparency of data to help wealth managers and individual investors in choosing the best performing funds in the category of their preference.
The ceremony was sponsored by NCB, ALMADAR FINANCE & INVESTMENT, Dow Jones Indexes and Bahrain Financial Harbour. H.E. The Deputy Governor of Bahrain Monetary Authority, Anwar Khalifa Al Sadah presented awards for the winning funds.
Islamic funds are a relatively new industry for which demand has grown quickly in the past two years, as favorable market conditions attract increased investment. In 2000, the largest funds were international equity funds dominated by National Commercial Bank’s Global Trading Equity Fund, which has assets approaching $1 billion. However, investors soon began to favor GCC equities. As a result, assets of GCC-focused funds have risen from under $200 million in 2000 to over $10 billion as of January this year.
The new demand for Islamic funds has attracted some of the world’s top banks and fund managers who now offer innovative Islamic investment solutions. HSBC Bank has been active in this area since 1997, and the Dow Jones Islamic Market (DJIM) Indexes were introduced in 1999. Other banks such as ABN Amro, Deutsche Bank, Pictet & Cie and UBS have been instrumental in developing the latest investment products for GCC investors. These, and other leading Islamic fund managers, are monitored regularly by Failaka International as industry assets continue to add credibility and performance to Islamic banking, while bringing important investment capital into the region.
Tuesday, March 7- 2006 @ 8:34 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.