Institutional gratitude

Asset Management: Shukr Investments

Promoting a financial system that is fair without the use of usury or interest. Generating double digit annualized returns based on ethical principles. Developing new cycles of charitable growth by giving 50% of performance fees to charity. This is just a few of the big ideas that UAE—based Shukr Investments is aiming to achieve.

Today, we’ve joined forces with Shukr to supervise their flagship strategy, the Shukr Global Equity Fund, which combines Sharia-based investing with ESG principles. Ranked by Bloomberg* in the top 1% of all offshore public equity funds, Shukr attributes its success to being grateful for God’s blessings—which is why the firm donates a significant portion of its fees to charitable causes.

Our objective is to ensure their investments and charitable activities comply with Sharia principles. This includes assembling the scholars for Shukr Investments’ Shariah board, ensuring their public equity investments comply with Sharia principles, overseeing their purification calculations, auditing their activities and approving the charities Shukr donates to.

When creative institutions join socially-conscious Islamic investors, new ideas will be brought to life, and big things will happen!

So, best of luck to Shukr for the years to come!

*as of September 30, 2020
ADGM based Shukr Investments partners with Shariyah Review Bureau to supervise its Global Equity Fund.

ADGM based Shukr Investments partners with Shariyah Review Bureau to supervise its Global Equity Fund.

Shukr Investments—an ADGM based investment manager who has received an In Principle Approval from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority—today announced that it has signed with Shariyah Review Bureau to setup its Sharia Supervisory Board and supervise its global public equity fund activities.

Founded in 2013, Shukr Investments has a presence in Abu Dhabi and the United States. Shukr Investments’ mission is to achieve annualized returns of at least 10% for its clients while donating 50% of performance fees earned to charitable causes.

“We believe that wealth is not diminished by charity and that if one shows gratitude to God for a blessing, God will increase that blessing,” said Omar Bassal, Director of Shukr Investments. “That’s why at Shukr Investments, we believe our success lies in being grateful and giving back to society. While we are the only firm we know of that donates half of our performance fees to charity, we hope this principle becomes an industry standard.”

Based on data compiled from Bloomberg, the Shukr Global Equity Fund’s performance over the last 3-months, year-to-date, 1-year, 3-years and 5-years all rank in the top 1% of all offshore public equity funds as of September 30, 2020 (Bloomberg symbol: SHUKGEP KY).

Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Omar said “We are excited to be working with Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) to supervise our ethical framework, ensuring our process, investments and charity distributions align with Sharia principles.”

For over fifteen years, Shariyah Review Bureau has been delivering its Sharia supervisory services to hundreds of financial institutions in the region. “Shukr Investments integration of Sharia-based investing with ESG principles appealed to us,” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, CEO of Shariyah Review Bureau. “We also appreciate Shukr’s support of the local community through charitable giving.”

“We are delighted to welcome Shukr Investments to our clientele base” added Yasser. “Their commitment to using our Sharia Board and Sharia audit solutions clearly demonstrates how institutionalized Sharia advisory services are moving into mainstream investments.”

Shukr Investments is incorporated in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”) and has received from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (“FSRA”) an In Principle Approval (IPA) to become a regulated Islamic Financial Institution, which will operate under a Category 3C license, once all IPA conditions have been met.

Al Sagr Insurance assigns Shariyah Review Bureau to drive growth with Sharia compliance

Al Sagr Insurance assigns Shariyah Review Bureau to drive growth with Sharia compliance

With a 38 years track record in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and with branches in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, Al Sagr’s ambitious goal continues to cater to customers in the Kingdom and beyond. As one of the leading insurance player in the industry, Al Sagr is committed to applying faith based values so as to cater to its customers’ needs.

Commenting on the development, Sarran AbuSaq, CEO at Al Sagr, said: “We are writing the next chapter of our insurance business. The intended transformation with Sharia compliance is to make Al Sagr an enterprise-wide agile company rather being a traditional risk taker. This includes creating new options to Islamic insurers, clients and businesses whilst being complementary to our existing customers.”  Sarran added, “our mandate continues to be to provide attractive and diverse insurance opportunities for our clients which also meet the broader needs of Al Sagr’s long term growth and development.”

Commenting on the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau, Sarran explained, “Assigning an experienced Sharia advisory firm like them is a significant commitment from our end. With their regional footprint and cooperative insurance track record in the Kingdom, we believe that our sophisticated and tailored insurance offerings and high customer service level approach will be immensely valuable to corporate clients, providing and giving them the backing and certainty of Sharia compliance that they need in today’s challenging market conditions.”

As part of its work, Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) will set-up the Sharia Committee, review all insurance products and related documents and enable the transformation by studying key business functions including re-insurance, claims and investments in light of Sharia principles. It will now manage the ongoing Sharia compliance of Al Sagr through periodical Sharia audits and supervisory reviews. Yasser S. Dahlawi, Founder and CEO of SRB, said, “what makes SRB unique is our ability to facilitate Sharia supervisory actions like product assessment, screening, Sharia Board administration and independent Sharia audits on a single platform. This approach helps improve the Sharia compliance process and enables our clients to reduce cost, improve transparency in reviews and certification and enhance the experience for Shari audit and reporting.”

“Relieving Al Sagr’s workforce of Sharia supervisory related administrative tasks will help them grow, develop and compete more effectively in today’s economy” Yasser added.

Kazakhstan based Mudarabah Capital gets certified by Shariyah Review Bureau

Kazakhstan based Mudarabah Capital gets certified by Shariyah Review Bureau

First of its kind program will help Mudarabah Capital lead the role  in local investment opportunities.

Kazakhstan based Mudarabah Capital today announced the engagement of Shariyah Review Bureau to certify and supervise its investment opportunities.  This is the first such Sharia compliant offering by Mudarabah Capital and one of the first in the country.

“We are excited to offer our investment in a Sharia compliant manner and present access to what the government  tenders framework provides. In particular, the Islamic offering enables us to translate our historic record of investment into an even more favorable opportunity given the investment will be transacted using the Islamic Mudaraba modality,” said General Director, Ruslan Burkanov, at Mudarabah Capital.

“We expect our Sharia compliant program to stimulate further direct investment into our offering by Islamic investors by presenting a pathway of access to a powerful opportunity which complies with Sharia principles for a more diverse array of investors, including small, large family-offices and businesses”,Ruslan added.

Investing and bidding transaction on behalf of nearly 6 mln. USD entities to date, Mudarabah Capital’s latest initiative will provide Kazakhstani investors the opportunity to directly invest in government tenders for the first time in a Sharia compliant manner. “Investors are looking for innovative platforms and Sharia compliant opportunities,” said Timur Rustemov, Chief Executive Officer at Mudarabah Capital. “Our company is addressing this dynamic landscape and provides access to the benefits of government tender with value creation for the first time.” “By having an organization with the knowledge and experience and the ability to help us attain and comply with Sharia principles, we are certain that our investors will get the Sharia assurance they seek,” stated Timur.

Advising and supervising on the establishment and operation of Mudarabah Capital’s offering is Shariyah Review Bureau one of the leading Sharia advisory firm with an international panel of 31 scholars from 16 countries. In recent years, local growth in Kazakhstan seems to be booming for Sharia compliant offerings as Shariyah Review Bureau has seen more and more companies approaching them to evaluate products and transactions. “With an extensive track record of serving clients around the world, and having been successfully engaged by banks and financing companies within Kazakhstan since 2015, we are now seeking to move forward and help more institutions transform their products and investments in light of Sharia principles and fill the demand in the investment market,”  said Yasser S. Dahlawi, CEO at Shariyah Review Bureau.

“Our firm is looking forward to now auditing and supervising Mudarabah Capital’s investment program.” “By leveraging our scholarly resources and experience in financial transactions, we think that more Islamic investment offerings will help bring growth and innovation to the industry here in Kazakhstan,” Yasser added.

Digitalizing global financial assets

 Permissionless Blockchain: Tezos

This morning, we announced the certification of Tezos, open-source platform for the digitalization of assets. With recession resistant abilities to design smart contracts that allow businesses, fund managers and banks to build Sharia compliant assets – it’s now time to fill you in on what we’ve been working recently, and how we’re tackling the future of decentralized peer-to-peer networks with Sharia compliance.

Enter the Tezos protocol, a blockchain which has the ability to host digital asset class that we hope will move the Islamic industry forward. The protocol’s on-chain governance system, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, and ability to facilitate formal verification of smart contracts, makes Tezos an ideal long-term solution for high-value financial applications such as digital securities. We’ve previewed and certified all features related to the protocol so as to ensure the platform is compliant to Sharia principles.

From our earliest days of advisory, our aim has always been to build and support innovative asset classes for everyone, applying unique Sharia insights to help clients tackle big problems. That’s just as relevant in today’s decentralized digital world. We believe by providing platforms like Tezos open-ended Sharia consultation, they can innovate, and reach companies around the world and put the power of Sharia compliance in their hands—no matter what investment objectives they have, where they are based or who they are.

So here’s to the Tezos digital asset class revolution. We can’t wait to see what comes next!

Tezos Blockchain receives Shariah Certification

Tezos Blockchain receives Shariah Certification

Tezos Gulf was established to foster ecosystem development in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for the Tezos network, an open-source public blockchain for assets and applications. In accordance with that mission, Tezos Gulf has announced the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) as its Sharia Advisor. Shariyah Review Bureau has reviewed the Tezos blockchain’s governance mechanism, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, and formal verification techniques and issued a Sharia certificate marking the platform’s compliance with Sharia principles.

Tezos’ platform is backed by a global community of validators, researchers and builders. It is considered one of the first pure proof-of-stake blockchains. The Tezos blockchain has been utilized by numerous issuers of digital securities but mostly on the conventional side of the financial market. “The engagement marks Tezos first step in promoting our open-source protocol to Islamic financial institutions in the GCC and South-Asia pacific region,” said Waleed Rassuli, Head of Tezos Gulf. “We see potential for Islamic financial institutions seeking to explore blockchain-based options for digital securities issuers and who also wish to issue securities on a platform that is compatible with the Sharia compliance ecosystem. We hope our blockchain will foster a vibrant version of the digital asset-class which will move the Islamic industry forward.

The Sharia certification was conducted by Shariyah Review Bureau, a global leader in providing product Sharia certification, investment advice in light of Sharia standards and Sharia audit services. As a trusted partner, Shariyah Review Bureau is recognized by major national and international financial institutions which it has been serving for over 15 years.

We are very proud to receive the Sharia Certificate which proves our functioning features and governance mechanism is in alignment with Sharia standards,” added Waleed. “This certification provides our partners and clients additional confidence in the Tezos blockchain’s technology.  We will continue to partner with SRB as we build, develop and grow in the rapidly expanding markets of the Islamic industry.”

Shariyah Review Bureau provides end-to-end Sharia advisory solutions to banks, insurance firms and asset managers around the world. Over the last few years it has been actively advising and certifying entities and their offerings in the blockchain and fintech sector. SRB’s services are centrally-deployed, and offer Sharia supervision, functionality and quick turnaround in product certification. This has become an attractive option for fintech establishments. In addition to reducing Sharia scholarly overheads, this approach helps clients centralize their firm’s Sharia certification and Sharia audit administrative and operational tasks.

Having served the banking and asset management sector in parallel to fintech firms we see an exciting time for the Islamic industry as blockchain technology infiltrates various aspects of the asset and security business.” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, Founder and CEO of Shariyah Review Bureau.

Yasser also said, “Leading businesses and more established Islamic banking institutions are exploring new opportunities that can help spur continuous innovation and help them stay ahead of the game. This will also help build a robust blockchain based ecosystem” Commenting on Tezos he added “Tezos secured Sharia compliancy upon a detailed review of its underlying documents related to its consensus mechanism which encompasses transaction validation and rewarding of Tokens. Going forwards, their technology has the potential to serve as a significant catalyst for growth and innovation in Islamic Finance sector.”

About Tezos – Tezos is a decentralized, public blockchain that evolves by upgrading itself. Stakeholders of the Tezos network vote on amendments to the protocol to reach social consensus on proposals, creating a secure and organic upgrading mechanism. The protocol’s on-chain governance system, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, and ability to facilitate formal verification of smart contracts, make Tezos an ideal long-term solution for high-value financial applications such as digital securities. Tezos is fully decentralized and it is the role of the Tezos Foundation, a Swiss non-profit to support the development and long-term success of the protocol and ecosystem. For more information, visit: tezos.com.

About Tezos Gulf – Tezos Gulf is a subsidiary of the Swiss-based Tezos Foundation that was established to foster the development of the Tezos ecosystem in the GCC region.

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