Islamic Banking

Malaysian Islamic Fund Manager Receives Go-Ahead To Set Up In Ireland

Vanessa Doctor, Asia Correspondent, 18 January 2012

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CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management has received approval from the Central Bank of Ireland to launch three new UCITS-compliant equity funds, making it the first Malaysian-managed fund platform approved in the European country.

CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management (Ireland) will act as an investment manager of a Dublin-based Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities for Islamic funds. A UCITS is an investment fund that meets EU-wide regulatory criteria.

The three new funds are the Islamic global emerging markets fund, the Islamic Asia-Pacific ex-Japan fund and the Islamic ASEAN equity fund. Eventually, these will be registered and distributed in seven jurisdictions: the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Singapore.

The establishment of a global funds platform follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Securities Commission Malaysia and the Central Bank of Ireland on 4 November 2011.

"UCITS funds are regarded globally as well-regulated funds that have robust risk management procedures and a strong emphasis on investor protection. A UCITS-compliant fund in effect gives one a 'European passport' -- if a fund is authorised in one EU member state, it can be distributed in any other EU member state without any additional authorisation," said
Dato Charon Wardini Mokhzani, chief executive of CIMB Investment Bank.

CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management is a joint venture between CIMB Group and US-headquartered Principal Global Investors with a focus on four core capabilities: global sukuk (bonds), Asia sukuk, global equity and Asia-Pacific ex-Japan equities. The company records $780 million in assets under management as of 31 December 2011.

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