Thursday 06, July 2017 by Nabilah Annuar

ICD and Saturna launch sustainable Islamic fund

Fund enhances Shari'ah compliant portfolio with added sustainable aims.

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank, and Saturna, a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based Saturna Capital Corporation, has announced the launch of the ICD Global Sustainable Fund, designed for professional and individual investors who seek to align their investment goals with social values and responsible capital. 

The launch of the fund contributes towards wider product sophistication and offerings and enhances Malaysia’s position as the marketplace of innovation, expertise and deal flow. ICD serves as one of the Fund’s seed investors and advisor, while Saturna is the Fund’s investment manager. 

Commenting on the launch of the fund, Khaled Al Aboodi, CEO of ICD said, “We are pleased to partner with Saturna to launch the Sustainable Islamic Fund whic will respond to the growing demand for responsible investment vehicles. By joining hands, we can better combine our expertise and commitment to achieve greater economic prosperity for the benefit of all. We have every confidence that this fund will meet the investors and societies expectations.”

In partnering with Saturna, member of the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) community, ICD will be drawing upon the investment manager’s 27 years of expertise in global values-based investing and its experience in managing the US-based Amana Funds, the world’s largest Islamic equity funds open to public investors, as well as the Saturna Sustainable Funds. Both sets of funds have been recognised by rating agencies for having portfolios with the highest scores on sustainability.

“Islamic investing principles already incorporate many aspects of broader sustainable practises. Saturna is honoured to partner with ICD in expanding Islamic investment choices that put even more emphasis on the principles of responsible finance and sound ESG practises.  Saturna has long believed that employing sustainable criteria can offer investors attractive growth with lower risk, and, increasingly, academic studies confirm the efficacy of sustainable investments,” added Monem Salam, president of Saturna and portfolio manager of the new fund.

Under normal conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80 per cent of its net assets in equities of global issuers that demonstrate sustainable characteristics. Saturna considers issuers with sustainable characteristics to be those that are generally larger, more established, consistently profitable, and financially strong, and with robust environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies. The firm uses a proprietary ESG rating system to identify issuers with sustainable characteristics.

As a result of Saturna’s innovative approach, investors can buy the Fund with NO sales charge, paying only low administrative fees (among the lowest in Malaysia and GCC) and transparent distribution fees.  In accordance with Islamic investment principles of profit and loss sharing, the management fee of the Fund is performance-based.

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