Labuan IBFC offers Islamic wealth management

KUALA LUMPUR: Labuan International Business and Financial Centre Inc Sdn Bhd (Labuan IBFC) has introduced its new product, Islamic wealth management, to meet the demand by Muslim and non-Muslim businessmen seeking Islamic way of managing their wealth.

Its chief executive officer, Saiful Bahari Baharom, said Muslim investors had started to shift from the conventional to syariah-compliant wealth management as the latter offered both the physical and spiritual aspects.

“This has somehow create an awareness among the foreign investors to do so as they are convinced with the Islamic version to secure their properties,” he told Bernama in an interview recently.

Saiful said there had been attempts by foreign institutions to set up Islamic wealth management. However, they did not do well.

“But since the last five to eight years ago, the number of syariah-compliant assets has grown as well as the investment products and therefore having a unit to manage these assets the Islamic way is crucial,” he said.

He said the Malaysian agency has also being approached by lawyers seeking advice on how they (the lawyers) could service their clients.

The syariah-compliant Islamic wealth management derives from the fundamental concept of wealth but it extends to the structures of Islamic financial products, portfolio management, asset allocation and overall financial planning.

Finance Deputy Minister, Datuk Ahmad Maslan, was reported as saying that with Malaysia being the first to introduce this new product under the Islamic financial system, hoped to also be the champion as it did for the sukuk market.

“Malaysia has been recognised as a global in Islamic finance by being the world’s third largest market for syariah assets – Islamic banking products and services, sukuk and takaful, so let’s hope that we can also champion Islamic wealth management,” he said.

Ahmad said to further Malaysia’s aspiration of becoming a centre of intellectual excellence in Islamic finance, the government was stepping up measures to that end.

“Several human capital development institutions, including the International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance, International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, Islamic Banking and Finance Institute of Malaysia and the Asian Institute of Finance have been established to crystallise the aspiration.

“I foresee Islamic wealth management as a natural next-stage development of the local Islamic finance industry with the availability of our infrastructure, in respect of the human capital development to the Islamic financial institutions and expertise we have before us today,” he said. — Bernama

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Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 EN

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