Australia's Crescent Wealth plans Islamic property fund
DUBAI Nov 26 (Reuters) - Australian fund manager Crescent Wealth plans to launch an Islamic fund investing in commercial property next year as it expands its range of products, its top executive said.
Crescent Wealth, established in 2011, is working on a closed-end fund which would hold investment-grade commercial and industrial properties across Australia.
"We are talking about a major fund, about probably between A$300 million to A$1 billion ($275 million to $920 million)," Talal Yassine, managing director of Crescent Wealth, told Reuters at the Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai.
"The yield will have to be on market, that would be 7 to 12 percent," he added.
The firm currently has just A$20 million in assets across four Islamic funds which include cash, real estate and domestic and international equities. It expects to add another A$20 million to A$30 million by the end of this year, Yassine said.
"We are hoping for A$40 to A$50 million by year-end - next year we are hoping for A$100 to A$200 million."
Crescent launched Australia's first Islamic pension fund last year, and hopes to build the fund to A$250 million in two to three years, said Yassine.
The firm is developing a range of Islamic investment products despite Australia's lack of regulations specifically catering to Islamic banking, which follows religious principles such as bans on interest and pure monetary speculation.
"We have no impediments for Islamic finance in Australia except for debt, and we don't do debt - from an investment point of view it's actually quite good." (Editing by Andrew Torchia)