| March 21
March 21 Malaysia's i-VCAP Management Sdn Bhd
has raised 20 million ringgit ($6.1 million) for its second
Islamic exchange-traded fund (ETF), a modest showing compared to
its maiden product launched in 2008.
The firm, partly owned by sovereign wealth fund Khazanah
Nasional, issued 20 million units this week for the MyETF MSCI
Malaysia Islamic Dividend fund.
That is well below the 840 million units issued in January
2008 for the MyETF-DJIM25, the first Islamic ETF in
Asia, which now has 255.1 million units in circulation giving it
a net asset value of 289 million ringgit.
ETFs are funds which track indexes of shares, bonds or
commodities and are traded on stock exchanges. Their
sharia-compliant versions follow religious principles such as
bans on interest and gambling.
The launch brings the total number of ETFs listed on Bursa
Malaysia to six and comes after Malaysia's securities commission
introduced a new method to screen stocks for sharia-compliance.
The new methodology incorporates quantitative filters such
as benchmarks for financial ratios, moving closer to the
approach used in the Gulf as authorities try to internationalise
the country's Islamic finance industry.
The new ETF from i-VCAP offers access to a basket of
sharia-compliant stocks at a lower cost than through a mutual
fund, charging total annual fees of 0.505 percent.
Since ETFs are designed to minimise cost, reaching an
optimal size is particularly important, with several Islamic
ETFs in the market yet to arrive at such a threshold.
i-Vcap is a subsidiary of Valuecap Sdn Bhd, which is owned
equally by Khazanah, Permodalan Nasional Bhd and civil service
pension fund Kumpulan Wang Persaraan.
($1 = 3.2965 Malaysian ringgit)
(Editing by Eric Meijer)