Ashmore leads expansion in the Middle East

Having received the Saudi license from Capital Market Authority in 2014, Ashmore has signed up with the Shariyah Review Bureau to supervise and manage the Shari’a Advisory requirements of its Islamic investments and debt proposition.

The London-based Investment Manager specialising in global emerging markets is boosting its expansion in Saudi with a series of Shari’a compliant funds as it expands its focus and builds its presence in the Middle East.

With an enriching international experience, a deep network that spans the globe and outstanding positions in the world’s rapidly emerging markets, Ashmore plans to offer both high quality Islamic and traditional investments. Dr Khalid Al-Sweilem, Chairman of Ashmore Investment Saudi Arabia said, “With more than twenty years’ experience in emerging markets Ashmore have built an asset allocation expertise and developed a robust investment process across a range of investment strategies.” On the opportunities of Islamic financial markets in the region he added, “There is a steady growth both in volume and the overall value of the Islamic financial sector. This naturally increases our confidence in the forecasts of  a sustainable period of growth in Islamic investments and its  potential to become an even more significant in the coming years’’.

With almost 300 employees in thirteen offices across eleven countries, Ashmore Group forms a seamless global network focused on highly-sustainable investment programs for clients around the world. And their latest offerings in a Shari’a compliant manner are considered as a major milestone for the company, accelerating its business for the first time in the form of a public vehicle in the Islamic marketplace. Johan Hattingh, CEO Ashmore Investment Saudi Arabia, said, “We understand that to be relevant in this region and compelling in the Saudi market we need to create investments that comply with Islamic financial law which investors are increasingly shifting towards.” As a result the company has assigned Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) to manage its Shari’a compliance functions. Speaking on the assignment Johan added, “they have been instrumental in helping many investment firms in the region address practical challenges in meeting Shari’a precepts for Islamic funds and we look forward to working with them and sharing their knowledge and experience.”

Now in its 11th year, SRB provides professional Shari’a Supervisory Board services for banks, investment firms, insurance companies, funds and corporate transactions.  For more than a decade, it has been the authoritative source for market players seeking to expand their businesses using Shari’a compliant form, especially in the Saudi market where it dominates the financial investment and insurance sectors.

Founder and CEO of SRB, Yasser S. Dahlawi stated “The general make-up of the Shari’a Supervisory Board landscape has changed drastically over the years. Major Islamic investment houses and financial powerhouses are seeking institutionalised services to meet corporate performance mandates and best market practices.” He explained the reasons for this significant shift by saying “the strong value proposition for this shift is the ability of players like SRB to solve complex-problems in light of Shari’a with greater depth in Shari’a law, and also to offer greater scholarly manpower as the business moves up the trajectory.”

SRB’s Assistant General Manager at Bahrain office, Mansoor M. Ahmed spoke on the assignment “Shari’a Compliance is a success story for many bringing phenomenal growth for businesses worldwide and Ashmore’s entrance further illustrates the huge potential and promise of Islamic faith fused with business.” He also added “We look forward to supervising their investments in compliance with Shari’a commercial law.”