KUALA LUMPUR, 22nd March 2021: BIMB Investment Management Berhad (“BIMB Investment”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad, today announced the launch of BIMB-ARABESQUE Global Shariah Sustainable Equity Fund (“BGSEF”), a global shariah ESG equity feeder fund that seeks to achieve capital appreciation over a medium to long term period for investors. The Target Fund, Arabesque Q3.17 SICAV – Q3.17 Sustainable Global Equity aims to offer investors globally diversified exposure in up to 100 Shariah-ESG stocks at all times. BGSEF is qualified as a sustainable and responsible investment (“SRI”) fund under the Guidelines on Sustainable and Responsible Investment Funds issued by the Securities Commission Malaysia. BIMB Investment supports the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiatives in positioning Malaysia as the world’s Islamic finance marketplace. BIMB Investment supports the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiatives in setting Malaysia as the world’s Islamic finance marketplace.
The Fund was officially launched by BIMB Investment Chairman Mohamed Ridza Mohamed Abdulla today in a virtual ceremony. In attendance were Georg Kell, Chairman of Arabesque Group; Najmuddin Mohd Lutfi, BIMB Investment Chief Executive Officer; and Gabriel Karageorgiou, Partner, Arabesque Asset Management, United Kingdom.
Commenting at the launch, Mohamed Ridza said, “The COVID-19 has shown us acutely how a sustainability crisis can impact economies, businesses and society at large. It is an example of what could happen if we were subjected to further sustainability shocks. That doesn’t have to be climate change. The COVID-19 crisis has also shown that companies with strong ESG credentials have performed better this year. Investors are likely to continue sizing-up companies with the best ESG credentials, as evidence points to them having proven resilience during the pandemic.”
He adds, today, many investors have realised that embedding ESG factors in capital markets makes good business sense and leads to more sustainable markets and better societies’ outcomes. Good corporate sustainable performance is associated with good corporate governance, leading to better financial results and generating better financial returns.”
“BGSEF integrates ESG considerations in its investment process and employs active screening for Shariah-compliance and alignment with United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) principles in its universe construction process. ESG and Shariah-compliant investing are our core philosophies. In light of the global pandemic, our view that COVID-19 will leave a significant impact on capital markets for years to come. It made ESG investing even more relevant for today’s investors who are looking to leave a positive impact on the planet at large.”
The BGSEF utilises Arabesque S-Ray®, a unique tool that provides data solutions across global capital markets to assess companies’ sustainability performance worldwide. The proprietary technology developed by Arabesque S-Ray systematically combines over 200 ESG metrics with news signals from over 30,000 sources across 170 countries. Built by investors for investors, S-Ray® is a unique tool to rate companies on the United Nations Global Compact (“GC Score”).
Speaking on quantifying ESG data through technology, George Kell, Chairman of Arabesque Group, says that technology has long been a key driver behind the sustainability movement by improving resource efficiency and facilitating the search for new business models. For investors, technology – often based on machine learning and artificial intelligence (“AI”) – has become the bedrock of ESG investing, enabling greater transparency and quantifying the performance of non-traditional factors that impact long-term financial performance.
“I do not doubt that the future has already begun. With smart solutions, machine-reading and learning capabilities, we will be better positioned to make the right decisions. The Fund is based on this latest best knowledge. The Fund is also sensitive to sustainability, recognising that values that increasingly matter are fully incorporated in the analyses. With this combination: AI, technology and sustainability, BIMB Investment is showing the way for the future, that they are part of the solution and I wish you every success moving forward,” said George in a video presentation from New York, United States of America.
The Fund is offered in five currency classes: Malaysian Ringgit Class, Malaysian Ringgit-Hedged Class, US Dollar Class, Australian Dollar Class and Singapore Dollar Class. The Fund is now available for subscription to investors with an initial investment amount of only RM500, RM-HEDGED 500, USD500, AUD500 or SGD500.
“BGSEF leverages the latest advancements in AI technology and forward-looking indicators to complement stock selection and enhance performance. The Fund enables alternative forms of data such as weather and news in the investment process. BIMB Investment, in partnership with Arabesque, was the first to integrate Shariah and ESG in its investment process in Malaysia. The rules-based investment approach systematically rebalances the Fund’s portfolio weekly. This dynamic feature offers the opportunity to capitalise on the latest market trends and reversals. The Fund also has stringent risk management measures to protect investors and achieve their long-term financial goals with a fully diversified investment across sectors and regions,” said BIMB Investment CEO Najmuddin Mohd Lutfi.
“AI technology is forward-looking and can process large quantities of data to construct the most optimal risk-adjusted investment portfolio for investors. With the AI engine, the Fund manages investment risk with discipline and efficiently to potentially deliver investment outperformance while simultaneously removing human biases,” said Najmuddin further.
BIMB Investment has won Malaysia’s Best Islamic Asset & Fund Manager for four consecutive years since 2017 and Best Risk-Adjusted Returns for ESG Principle Investments Fund Manager at the Alpha Southeast Asia Best Islamic Finance Awards for both 2019 and 2020. The company has also been awarded as ESG Asset Manager of the year 2019 and 2020 by The Asset Triple A Islamic Finance Awards, recognising its significant contributions and achievements in ESG, sustainability, and asset management in Asia.
This is a brief description of BIMB-ARABESQUE Global Shariah Sustainable Equity Fund managed by BIMB Investment and is non exhaustive. Investors are advised to read and understand the contents of the Prospectus for BIMB-ARABESQUE Global Shariah Sustainable Equity Fund dated 8th March 2021, its supplemental (if any) and the Product Highlights Sheet (PHS) before investing, which have been lodged with the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) who takes no responsibility for its contents. The date of launch for BIMB-ARABESQUE Global Shariah Sustainable Equity Fund is 8th March 2021. A copy of the Prospectus and PHS can be obtained from the Head office of BIMB Investment Management Berhad, its website www.bimbinvestment.com.my, any of our authorised unit trust consultants, distributors and/or any Bank Islam branches. The SC’s authorisation or the lodgement of the Prospectus should not be taken to indicate that the SC has recommended the Fund. There are fees and charges involved and investors are advised to compare and consider them before investing in the Fund. Investments in the Fund are exposed to risks, please refer to the Prospectus for detailed information. Investors are advised to consider the risks in the Fund and should make their own risk assessment and seek professional advice, where necessary, prior to investing. Investors should also note that the price of units and distribution payables, if any, may go down as well as up. Any issue of units to which the Prospectus relates will only be made upon receipt of the completed application form referred to in and accompanying the Prospectus, subject to the terms and conditions therein. This media release has not been reviewed by the SC.
Wan Norkhairi Wan Samad
Head, Group Corporate Communications
BIMB Holdings Berhad
Tel: +603-2782 1232
Media Relations & Editorial, Group Corporate Communications
BIMB Holdings Berhad
Tel: +603-2781 2943 / +6019-391 9144
NurFarah Diyana Mohd Firhad
Marketing & Digital Business
BIMB Investment Management Berhad
Tel: +603-2161 2524