The United Nations Development Program has identified Islamic finance as ‘one of the fastest growing areas of finance globally’ with assets tipped to reach $US3.5 trillion by 2021.
Not only is the sector set to help reshape the global financial landscape, it could be an important key to financial inclusion and sustainable development.
Here in Australia, Crescent Wealth Super has provided Islamic superannuation and investments to over 7,000 members for the past five years and is driving industry growth across Asia Pacific.
An introduction to Islamic investments
“Islamic investments are unique,” says Mr Talal Yassine OAM, Managing Director of Crescent Wealth Super. “Unlike any other fund, we will not invest in what we call ‘vice stocks’ – these are industries like tobacco or alcohol. We only invest in companies that contribute positively to the world.”
“We also take a measured approach to risk, focusing our investments in companies with low gearing, steady and stable earnings and which avoid speculation.”
This approach results in a low risk, medium reward portfolio, perfectly suited to superannuation. “We must remain competitive,” says Yassine. “Not only do we stick to the values of Islamic investing, but we work hard to make sure that our offering provides our investors with excellent customer service and solid investment strategies that set them up for the retirement they deserve.”
Room to grow
The Islamic finance industry has enormous potential to grow across Australasia, as highlighted by Senior Advisor at the UNDP, Aamir A Rehman. “Australasia is already home to pioneering Islamic finance institutions for long-term savings and endowment-based philanthropy. As Islamic finance stakeholders around the world increasingly consider sustainability and environmental impact, Australasia can be an especially attractive destination.”
But Islamic investments are not limited to those who follow the religion. More and more people the world over are waking up to the impact of the choices they are making and opting for responsible investments. “We see a huge untapped market for Islamic investment both here in Australia and overseas as people begin to realise that taking a sustainable approach to investment can deliver competitive returns without compromising your values,” says Yassine, “we are already one of Australia’s fastest growing investment funds and we expect similar results over the coming years.”
Far reaching benefits
The special thing about Islamic investment is how broadly its benefits can be felt. “By choosing to invest your money in industries and companies that operate in a responsible manner,” explains Yassine, “you are contributing positively to the Australian society as a whole. At Crescent Wealth Super we are passionate about the impact our investments make. We are always glad to help companies reach the sustainability standards, governance structures and financial performance levels required for Islamic investment.”
For more information on Islamic investments and the Crescent Wealth Super offering, get in touch with a superannuation consultant today on 1300 926 626.
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Talal currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Whitlam Institute and Western Sydney University Foundation Council Board. He also serves as Chairman of First Quay Capital and Chairman of the Australian Arab Dialogue. Talal has also served on the Australia Post, Board of Sydney Ports, Macquarie University and the Western Sydney Area Health Service and the Chairman of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Council of Australia Arab Relations. In an executive capacity, Talal spent 10 years at PwC as a director and strategist, and at investment firm Babcock & Brown in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia, Platinum Hearing and Star Transport Australia.