* Hong Kong-based launched its first sharia-compliant Asian equities fund
* Islamic funds industry is now attracting regional firms seeking to penetrate markets from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia
* Mirae has a presence in 12 countries and manages more than $100 billion in client assets
Hong Kong-based Mirae Asset Global Investments has launched its first sharia-compliant Asian equities fund, part of efforts to widen its client base and tap into demand from Islamic investors in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
The launch adds momentum to the Islamic funds industry, which underwent a period of consolidation in recent years but is now attracting regional firms seeking to penetrate markets from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia.
The Luxembourg-domiciled fund will be registered in selected counties while focusing on distribution with local partners, the firm said in a statement.
Room for growth
“Islamic Asset Management is a growth area within the investments industry. Sharia-compliant capabilities are in fact required in catering to certain markets and client segments.”
The firm is the asset management arm of South Korea’s Mirae Asset Financial Group and has a presence in 12 countries and manages more than $100 billion in client assets.
Earlier this month, Italian money manager Azimut Holding SpA said it would jointly manage its Islamic bonds fund with Maybank Asset Management Group to cater to growing demand for hard currency Islamic financial products.
Japan’s SBI Holdings and the Brunei government have also launched a sharia-compliant private equity fund focused on Southeast Asian companies, with a target size of $100 million.
Islamic fund managers screen their portfolios according to religious guidelines such as bans on tobacco, alcohol and gambling, in much the same way as socially responsible funds.