RETAIL FUNDS | Cesar Tordesillas, Malaysia

ASM Investment to be fully Syariah-compliant

ASM Investment Services will convert all of its seven conventional funds into syariah-compliant.

The aim is to become a fully syariah-compliant fund management company by 2014.

ASM Investment currently manages 13 unit trust funds -- seven conventional and six syariah-compliant.

"This year we will convert four conventional funds into syariah-compliant and next year three," said its chief executive officer, Ameer Ali Mohamed.

Ameer Ali said it was challenging to invest in syariah-compliant finance securities as the choices were limited as there were not enough stocks in the finance sector.

"Conventional funds have choices of 11 banking/insurance securities on Bursa Malaysia which represented 19 per cent of the total market capitalisation of the overall Malaysian equity market.

"But for syariah-compliant funds, only two are available and they represented only half per cent of the total market capitalisation of Malaysian Islamic equity market. And there is no choice," he said.

He said currently 88 per cent of the companies listed on Bursa Malaysia were syariah-compliant, based on the methodology used by the Syariah Advisory Council of the Securities Commission Malaysia.

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