Friday, March 21, 2008

Financial heavyweights lend support to Islamic awards

Financial heavyweights lend support to Islamic awards

Major industry players back annual Failaka Islamic Fund Awards celebrating growth in Shari'ah compliant investment

Financial heavyweights have pledged their support to industry awards being made next week to high performing Shari'ah compliant funds which have captured the attention of conventional as well as Islamic investors worldwide.

Organised by Failaka Advisors, the 3rd Annual Islamic Fund Awards taking place on 24 March 2008 at Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai, will recognise the best performing Shari'ah compliant funds.

The impressive line-up of sponsors includes:

• SHUAA Asset Management, a division of Dubai-based Shuaa Capital. Its coverage spans more than 15 regional financial markets and offers both conventional and Shari'ah compliant investment options. It manages $1.2 billion in assets through 19 investment funds and several discretionary portfolios.

• Al-Madar Finance & Investment Company, which aims to become the leading provider for Shari'ah compliant equity and corporate finance related products and services in the Kuwait and the Gulf region. The company was listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange in June 2005.

• MSCI Barra, a leading provider of indices and portfolio risk and performance analytics for use in managing equity, fixed income and multi-asset class portfolios. Estimated assets benchmarked to MSCI indices have grown to over $3 trillion.

• Oasis Crescent Capital (DIFC) Limited, offers a range of financial services to the Middle East market from its offices located at the DIFC, including Shariah compliant collective investment funds as well as managing segregated portfolios. Part of Oasis Global Fund Managers, an international award-winning fund management operation with a strong investment track record in Shari’ah compliant fund management.

• IdealRatings, a service for financial institutions identifying Shari'ah compliant instruments globally and managing the fund management process. IdealRatings is geared for portfolio managers and analysts. IdealRatings is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

"This year’s awards will see a high profile gathering of global fund managers, drawing more attention to the growth and broadening interest in Shari'ah-compliant investment funds," said Mark Smyth, Managing Director, Failaka Advisors.

"The awards have consistently set benchmarks for the performance of the Shari'ah-compliant funds industry, highlighting the achievements and innovations of fund families, fund managers, and individual funds."

This year's Failaka awards will feature two industry insights, one on exchange-traded funds and emerging-market funds and another on the Gulf Co-operation Council capital markets in 2008.

Failaka will also showcase its new online database of more than 300 Islamic equity funds at the awards. For the first time, Failaka will be making available to institutions and individual investors all of their key data on fund objectives, geographic focus, net asset value, historical and current performance, on a state-of-the-art online platform.

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