Mid East & Asian fund managers honoured as industry remains upbeat

Published March 26th, 2009 - 11:18 GMT

Mid East & Asian fund managers honoured as industry remains upbeat

Despite challenging times world’s top fund managers reflect on year of achievement at annual Failaka Islamic Funds Awards

Investment companies and banks in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Ireland, South Africa, France and the United States have been awarded the highest global accolades in Islamic fund management.

Organised by Failaka Advisors, the 4th Annual Islamic Fund Awards were held today (25 March 2009) at a gala reception in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, recognising the world's best performing Shari'ah compliant funds.

“As we all know, it was an extraordinary rough year for fund managers of all shades and stripes, including those managing Shariah-compliant funds. While the current environment represents a massive challenge for all in the financial sector, it is important to remember that eventually a recovery will begin to take shape,” said Mark Smyth, Managing Director, Failaka Advisors.

The Failaka Awards have consistently set benchmarks for the performance of Shari'ah-compliant funds industry and although 2008 was a challenging year for all financial sectors worldwide, the awards highlight the achievements and innovations of fund families, fund managers, and individual funds.

Speaking at the event, Richard Blakesley, Managing Director of Fairfax Investment Management, managers of the first Shariah-compliant gold bullion fund, amplified the optimistic mood of industry professionals. “With many new asset classes becoming available in the Islamic sector, we believe Shariah compliant funds will be early beneficiaries of any upturn in confidence and growth in global investment markets.”

The Best Islamic Equity Fund Manager (one-year) award for the GCC went to Saudi investment company Jadwa, whilst Gulf Finance House (GFH), Kuwait Finance & Investment Company (KIFC) and Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) were honoured with the Best GCC Islamic Equity Fund (three-year) for their combined Al-Bashaer GCC Islamic Equity Fund.

National Commercial Bank (NCB) Capital was also recognised, making it a successful night for Saudi fund managers. NCB Capital picked awards for the Best European Islamic Equity Fund in the one and three-year categories.

In Asia, the Best Islamic Fund Manager Award (three-year) went to CAAM Saudi Fransi for the performance of their Al-Naqaa Asian Growth Fund. 

The highlight of the evening though was undoubtedly South Africa, Ireland and Dubai company Oasis Group Holdings, which was honoured for the fourth consecutive year. Their Oasis Crescent Global Equity Fund claimed the top awards in the Best Global Islamic Equity Fund for one, three and five-year funds.

Smyth commented further, “In the Islamic sector, there are reasons to be hopeful in that many new Islamic banks and Takaful operators have recently launched, which represents a new source of investors to Shariah-compliant funds. Additionally, the variety of available asset classes continues to expand rapidly, such that today it is often possible to construct fully Shariah-compliant portfolios; whereas in the past investors often had to choose among a smattering of basic products.”

“Even during these challenging times we are confident about the future of Islamic finance and as such it was important to showcase the best-performing funds in the Islamic space,” he added.


 

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