Crescent Wealth signs partnership deal with BLME

Australian Islamic wealth manager Crescent Wealth has partnered with the Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME) in a deal that gives Australian retail investors exposure to the growing Islamic bonds market for the first time.

Investors in the Crescent Islamic Cash Management Fund will be able to gain exposure to the $150bn global market for Sukuk, or the Sharia’a-compliant bonds. Sukuk generate ethical returns backed by real assets. BLME, Europe’s largest Islamic bank, and a leading global provider of Sharia’a-compliant fixed income products, will manage the portfolio.

Crescent Wealth founder and Managing Director, Talal Yassine, said: “Our partnership with BLME, is significant because it is further evidence that Australia is being taken seriously as a viable growth market for Islamic funds management.

“The partnership rounds out Crescent Wealth’s Sharia’a-compliant product suite by adding a fixed income option to our existing Australian and global equities, property and cash offering. It also brings exposure to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market, and gives our investors added confidence that our fixed income option is being managed by the best in the industry.”

Nigel Denison, head of Wealth Management at BLME, said: “Recently, we have seen increased demand from international investors for Sukuk because of good credit performance that has proven Sukuk to be resilient to the global economic downturn. The strong performance of our fixed income products has been supported by a buoyant Sukuk market with 2012 looking to be a record year both in terms of our product performance and for the Sukuk market overall.”

Islamic banking is one of the fastest growing financial sectors today. Global Islamic banking assets exceed US$1 trillion and are forecast to grow to US$2 trillion by 2017 (HSBC Amanah Global Sukuk Market: Current Status and Growth Potential 18 May 2012). In addition, there is an estimated US$58 billion in managed funds invested in Sharia’a compliant equities. The Sukuk has exceeded pre-financial crisis levels and is expected to grow expotentially over the coming years.

Nigel Denison added: “At BLME we operate under the principles of fairness, integrity and transparency. We provide innovative products that allow clients to diversify their portfolios and generate a sustainable return, while encouraging sound risk-management procedures and avoiding excessive speculation and credit creation.


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