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Investing In Islamic Funds: A Practitioner's Perspective by Noripah Kamso

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Introduction

Emergence of the New Global Investment Alternative

What is proven at one time shall perpetuate, unless there is a contrary clue.

(Islamic legal maxim)

A Muslim friend of mine who was then a CEO of an Islamic Bank in Malaysia happens to be a 6-foot Caucasian with blue eyes and blonde hair. He was asked to meet senior representatives of the U.S. State Department for discussions, as the Americans were visiting Malaysia on a fact-finding mission regarding Islamic finance. They met in the lobby of a hotel in Kuala Lumpur after work one evening.

“Hello,” he said, “My name is Daud Vicary Abdullah and I’m due to meet you.” In a state of shock, the senior representative from the U.S. State Department looked him over from head to toe and said, “You don’t look like an Islamic banker!” Daud responded, “Who were you expecting? Osama bin Laden?” It was obvious that based on his name, the Americans had clearly expected to meet someone who looked like what they thought a Muslim should be—someone of Middle Eastern or Asian descent.

In May 2012, I was invited to speak at BaFin’s (German market regulator) second Islamic Finance Conference in Frankfurt. While in Germany, we also took the opportunity to launch three of the company’s Irish-based Islamic Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) Equity Funds (registered in Germany), having educated the media for half the day. The funds were being offered to meet the investment appetite of about 4 million ...

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