Mark Mobius is lined up to manage a Shariah-compliant Asian Growth Fund, one of a trio to be launched by Franklin Templeton.
The funds, which include the first ever Ucits-structured, Shariah-compliant fund Franklin Templeton Global Sukuk (bond) Fund, will opened to international investors on March 25th. The firm is bringing the funds to market in response to growing interest in Shariah-compliant investment products.
Mobius will manage the Templeton Shariah Asia Growth Fund, with assistance from Dennis Lim and Allan Lam, senior managing directors and portfolio managers of the Templeton emerging markets group. At least 80% of the fund’s net assets will be invested in Asia-based company securities, excluding Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
Meanwhile, the Franklin Templeton Global Sukuk Fund, managed by Mohieddine (Dino) Kronfol, and Stephen Dover, is focused on fixed and floating rate Shariah-compliant securities issued by government, and government-related entities.
The management team, who take on the CIO for Mena fixed income and global Sukuk, and international CIO of Franklin Templeton local asset management roles respectively, have been managing Sukuk investments, the Shariah equivalent of bonds, since 2008.
Finally, Alan Chua, executive vice president, portfolio manager and research analyst with Templeton Global Equity Group, is managing the Templeton Shariah Global Equity Fund. This will invest in undervalued opportunities globally.
Franklin Templeton manages over $1bn in Shariah-compliant assets for its global client base, and uses a Shariah screening provider to ensure compliance with Islamic investment principles. All three new funds are independently reviewed and endorsed by the Amanie International Shariah Supervisory Board.
Mohieddine Kronfol said: “Islamic investors are seeking greater diversification, and exposure to Sukuk can reduce volatility while adding value to any Shariah-compliant equity or real estate portfolio. Franklin Templeton has been managing institutional Sukuk strategies for several years so we’re excited to be offering this asset class to a broader audience through a new Sicav fund. Notably, our Global Sukuk fund is the first fund in this essential category ever launched in the Ucits space.”