Saudi Arabian bank to launch Shariah-compliant Africa mutual fund

Saudi Arabian bank to launch Shariah-compliant Africa mutual fund

The chairman of Jadwa Investment, Prince Faisal Bin Salman, hosted South African Ambassador John Davies and a number of businessmen at an “Investor Forum” for launching the new Jadwa Africa Equity Freestyle Fund. The fund is the first Shariah-compliant Africa fund offered by any institution in the region.

The offering of the Africa Fund places Jadwa in a leading position in the investment banking industry.

Remarkably, Jadwa has launched as many as 13 investment funds since June last year.

The comprehensive range of funds offered by Jadwa ranked it at No. 6 among the Saudi banks in terms of the assets under management, which exceeded SR5 billion.

“Jadwa, since its establishment in the first quarter of 2007, has made great achievements and Jadwa Africa Equity Freestyle Fund, the first of its kind, is a new milestone in its achievements,” Ahmed Al-Khateeb, managing director and CEO of Jadwa Investment, said in his welcome speech.

“Jadwa has set itself as a leader in Shariah-compliant investments in the world through its high quality services and superior investment solutions,” he added.

The ambassador was pleased with foresight and wisdom of Jadwa Investment in seeing the brighter side of African countries and with the introduction of the Jadwa Africa Equity Freestyle Fund.

“Last year, five out of top 10 fastest growing economies of the world were from Africa, which itself proves a lot. I believe that this fund will lead to more exciting opportunities for investors who are always seeking to enhance their returns,” he said.

The highlight of the event was an impressive presentation titled “The African Sun is Rising” by Dr. Michael Power, chief strategist at Investec Asset Management, highlighting how Africa’s relative value in the world is rising.

Dr. Power said that since 2000 the real GDP of Africa had been growing at an average rate of 5.8 percent compared to the world real GDP growth of four percent.

He presented compelling evidence that, contrary to its perception in the market, the reality of Africa today is vastly superior due to its ever improving political framework and reduced incidence of conflict.

In response to a question, Dr. Power mentioned that historically for the last two to three years markets have averaged returns of around 35 percent per annum, which is exceptional.

However, he would be very disappointed if the fund could not return an average of 20 percent per annum over the next five years.

In addition, Dr. Power drew investors’ attention to the important fact that a number of African markets have provided some of the world’s strongest returns over the past three years, despite being perceived as historically too risky.

“Africa is connecting well with the world to benefit from globalization and that the African markets are deepening and choices are widening for investors,” he said. “If we believe in China, and it is expected to be the world’s largest economy by 2030, then it is not without reason that Africa is now China’s fastest growing investment destination,” he added.

“This event was aimed at improving awareness among investors and simplify the investment mystery of the African Black Box,” Fadi Tabbara, Jadwa’s head of asset management and chief investment officer, said summing up the discussion.

“Jadwa will continue to offer unique products just as we have offered the first multimanager Shariah-compliant funds, the first Global Sukuk Fund, and we are now exploring Africa and much more to come,” he added.

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