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Filed under: News and photos — admin     2:49 pm May 24, 2011

Investors now favour syariah-compliant funds and investment products over  conventional counterparts, due to its compatibility and returns viability for both Muslim and non-Muslims investors.

ASM Investment Services Bhd (ASM Investment), the managing arm of the nation’s first Bumiputera-owned unit trust manager Amanah Saham MARA Bhd (ASMB) believed that such interest became more evident due to a number of features that separated syariah funds from other conventional investment offerings.

“We are riding on the rapid growth of global Islamic financial industry, which present a very well-suited investment profile for all investors; Muslim and non-Muslim alike. However, what is regarded as the most vital aspect of any investment product, including those syariah-compliant ones, is still the returns.

“With additional value incorporated within the Islamic financial framework, I believe that it makes syariah funds becoming more popular now. Moreover, we find that many of our corporate clients, who consist mostly of GLCs (government-linked companies), prefer to opt for syariah funds,” ASM Investment’s chief executive officer Nik Mohamed Zaki Nik Yusoff told reporters at the start of the group’s ‘Investors’ Appreciation Day’ (HPP) programme held at its office at Jalan Tun Jugah here earlier today.

Elaborating further on these additional features, Zaki singled out the concept of ‘tazkiah’ in compliance to syariah regulation in handling investment.

“To put it more simply, tazkiah is a form of filter that separates out returns generated from vague or undetermined investment sources. It ‘purifies’ these returns in adherence to syariah regulation, which we at ASM Investment put the upmost priority on.

“Dividends from these obscure investment have to go through the ‘tazkiah’ process in order to ensure all returns and income are fully disassociated from any activity that is deemed not complying to syariah,” he explained.

Another attractive draw to Islamic investments would be its takaful-backed guarantee, according to Zaki.

“We offer 13 unit trust products to all clients where six of them are syariah funds. Among these producst, three syariah funds and two conventional ones are provided with free takaful coverage. To date, ASM Investment’s has disburse a total of RM2.82 million in takaful compensation to investors and their respective next-of-kins since 1998,” he highlighted.

Syariah investment offerings constituted more than half of ASM Investment’s revenue contribution, making it the group’s core investment product category. As of April 30 this year, overall value of funds under management reached RM450 million, out of which some RM300 million were coming from unit trusts.

In conjunction with the HPP, ASM Investment also kicked off its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme ‘ASM Investment Community Reach’ here with a ‘zakat’ (tithe) contribution of RM10,000 to the state’s Orphans and Children Welfare Board (LKAYS) – formerly known as ‘Peryatim’.

Receiving the cheque on LKAYS’ behalf was Mohd Salleh Hamdin, caretaker of non-governmental organisation (NGO) Laila Taib Welfare Complex here.

Zaki remarked, “The Community Reach programme is a new addition to our HPP this time around. Our ongoing CSR efforts are focused on contributive and community-based activities on regional levels.

“We strive to increase the public understanding and awareness in the field of finance and investment, alleviate the financial burden of selected beneficiaries through zakat, as well as bringing families and society together through positive activities; all towards our objective to shape a more positive community.”

Source : The Borneo Post

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