Tue, 11/09/2007 - 06:58
Barclays Capital, the investment banking division of Barclays Bank PLC, and Shariah Capital Inc, a US-based company publicly-listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange, have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a unique Shariah compliant investment platform.
The platform is targeted both to hedge fund managers who wish to accommodate Islamic investors while remaining consistent within their existing strategies and institutional investment managers who are looking for absolute returns and the lower volatility generally provided by alternative investments - all available within a total Shariah compliant framework.
Entitled 'Al Safi Trust,' the platform will initially offer equity long-short and market neutral strategies in Al Safi 'Sub-trusts,' each reporting its own performance. Al Safi Trust is intended to be opened for investment in fourth quarter 2007.
Shariah Capital will act as Shariah Advisor to the Al Safi Trust. Barclays Capital will be responsible for marketing the Al Safi Trust platform and its sub-trust strategies. Barclays Capital will also provide prime brokerage services joined with Shariah Capital's proprietary screening software and short-sale solution.
Eric Meyer, Chairman and CEO of Shariah Capital, commented: 'The Al Safi Trust bridges Western investment management and Shariah. It allows hedge fund managers to manage consistent with their existing strategies while addressing the religious requirements of Muslim clients. Islamic investors, at the same time, can choose from a range of high-quality hedge fund managers and related structured products. Al Safi is a "one-stop shop" for a bank or financial institution with a Shariah compliant mandate looking to structure and distribute alternative investment products.'
'This is a unique Shariah platform as it will allow a growing number of investors to access Shariah compliant funds in the alternative investment arena.,' says Richard Ho, Head of Fund-Linked Derivatives at Barclays Capital. 'We are delighted to partner with Shariah Capital, a market leader in this area.'
Shaykh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo, Chief Shariah Officer of Shariah Capital, adds: 'The Al Safi Trust is rigorous in its adherence to Shariah. The Al Safi Trust platform will only sponsor managers who contractually have agreed to manage within Shariah standards.'
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