Azimut and Maybank to jointly manage sukuk fund

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Italian Azimut Group will jointly manage its Islamic bonds fund with Maybank Asset Management Group to cater to growing demand for hard currency sukuk products.

The agreement signed by the two groups foresees a cooperation which will leverage the track record of Azimut’s Global Sukuk Fund to cater for the demand for hard currency sukuk strategies in the ASEAN region.

The investment capabilities of Maybank Asset Management in the ASEAN region and the Shariah compliant space will be added to the existing Azimut investment management and advisory team. The fund will be rebranded as Azimut MAMG Global Sukuk to reflect on the strategic partnership between the two groups.

In recent years new issues in global sukuk markets have added to a total notional in excess of $100bn despite global concerns related to potential increase in interest rates as well as the persistently low oil prices.

New issuers have tapped the market including from non-Muslim countries such as Hong Kong, United Kingdom, South Africa and United States proving the inherent strengths and benefits of sukuk for global investors which are estimated to be 40% of the total demand. Global sukuk yield a strong diversification potential owing to short maturities, high credit rating and low correlation to emerging markets.

Azimut Global Sukuk Fund which was launched in November 2013 is one of the world’s largest Ucits compliant funds with AUM in excess of $130m.

The fund pursue an absolute profit rate objective with a strategy with no geographical or sectorial bias but carrying at all time a portfolio with an average investment grade rating and an average maturity below 5 years. Its performance to date which exceeds a yield of 3% annualized in USD ranks is in the top decile of the industry in the same period.