Islamic Banking

Sarasin Launches A New Shariah-Based Wealth Management Offering

Ilya Timofeyev 13 November 2009

Sarasin Launches A New Shariah-Based Wealth Management Offering

Swiss private banking group Sarasin has launched a new Islamic wealth management offering that includes Shariah-compliant private banking products and services.

The bank’s Islamic wealth management offering incorporates estate and succession planning, financing and asset management with money market and structured products including Wakala, Murabaha and Maraya.

Wakala is a Shariah-compliant fiduciary agreement between two parties. According to a statement, many Islamic finance transactions are based on this type of agreement.

Murabaha is the most popular and most common mode of Islamic financing, which is also known as mark-up or cost-plus financing.

Maraya is an Islamic structured product based on Murabaha or a series of Murabaha transactions. The structure is based on an agreement between the investor and the bank in which the risk/return requirements are addressed and the payout mechanism is clearly defined.

With this launch, the company, which is represented in the Middle East by its Sarasin-Alpen subsidiaries, intends to strengthen its positions in the region as well as to provide a broader offering to its clients internationally.

“Many of our clients have expressed an interest in this type of investment approach and we are proud to offer them a complete range of products and services that combine the highest standards of Swiss private banking with Shariah principles,” said Fares Mourad, managing director, head of Islamic finance, Bank Sarasin & Co, Switzerland.

In other recent developments, earlier this month the bank unveiled its plans to acquire a majority stake (between 51 and 60 per cent) in NZB Holding, domiciled in Zurich, subject to the approval of the authorities and existing NZB shareholders.

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