UK-based global investment group Aberdeen is confident that interest in Shariah investment will explode, citing positive growth trends in the industry since 2009 and a growing appreciation for the value of Shariah compliant funds, despite potential economic headwinds and a weaker stock market.
Aberdeen Asset Management Sdn Bhd, which was set up in KL in 2005, has over RM5.5bn* under management, primarily in equity mandates sourced from public institutions investing in both domestic and overseas equities. And with some RM11.5bn* invested in the country the Aberdeen group is one of the largest foreign investors in Malaysian equities.
Aberdeen has been steadily adding staff in Malaysia to both its conventional and Islamic investment arms, with a total seven equity fund managers plus two newcomers overseeing fixed income macro and credit, including Sukuk. According to Mr Ambrose, Aberdeen’s ambitions are to source funds from a wider base than at present, with retail funds a possibility.
In particular with much of local pension money being funnelled into domestic equities he says it makes sense for investors to spread risks by diversifying overseas. There is the added possibility that Malaysian stocks become less attractive if the long-term support of local buyers is taken for granted.
Aberdeen, with its global network, has a large research database. It organises fund managers in teams that operate locally, not just from cities in the main time zones but across emerging markets, too. This, it believes, provides an information advantage since it spends much of its time meeting companies face to face.
*As at 30 April 2012
Aberdeen Asset Management is a global investment management group which is headquartered in Aberdeen, Scotland, and manages more than US$295.7 billion of assets globally for both institutions and private individuals (as of 30 April 2012). The group invests on behalf of institutional and wholesale clients, primarily in equities, fixed income, alternative investment strategies and property and employs over 1,900 staff across 23 countries worldwide.
Aberdeen Asset Management Sdn Bhd
Tel: + 60 3 2053 3800