Shariah-compliant funds manager, Crescent Funds Management, has been granted an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL).
Crescent, a subsidiary of Crescent Investments Australasia, plans to launch a Shariah-compliant Australian equities fund in the first quarter of 2011.
Crescent has appointed Ernst & Young as tax adviser and auditor and JP Morgan as custodian, according to Crescent Funds Management’s chief executive Chaaban Omran. The fund will be targeting domestic and offshore retail and institutional investors.
Crescent Investments Australasia executive chairman Talal Yassine credited a team effort from lawyers, compliance officers and management staff for the AFSL qualification.
“We have received interest from industry super funds that are exploring Shariah funds as an alternative asset class for their members, and now with this licence we are able to take these discussions to the next step,” Yassine said.
Australia’s resource-rich and small-cap profile correlated well with Shariah-compliant investing, he added.
“There is potential for approximately A$6 billion for funds to transfer from conventional equity funds to Shariah funds from the Australian Muslim community alone, and Crescent is uniquely positioned to manage these fund inflows,” Yassine said.