KUALA LUMPUR: Aiiman Asset Management Sdn Bhd made its foray into the retail market following the launch of its maiden fund Aiiman Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) Dividend Fund on Thursday.
The fund is an open-ended Shariah-compliant equity fund that aims to provide investors with regular income and capital growth through investments in stable and high-dividend yielding Shariah-compliant equities.
“To achieve its investment objective, the fund will invest a minimum of 70% of the fund’s net asset value (NAV) in Shariah-compliant equities and a maximum of 30% of its NAV in sukuk, Shariah-compliant money market instruments and/or deposits,” it said in a statement.
Aiiman had received regulatory approval and was granted the Unit Trust Management Company licence to produce, market and distribute its own unit trust funds.
Aiiman managing director Akmal Hassan said this was the company’s first fund to the market that would pave the way for future growth by penetrating the retail segment.
When Aiiman started operations in 2009, it had been managing only private mandates for its institutional clients.
“But now, we see an opportunity to add a new pillar to our business by expanding our client-base into the mass market.”
“This is a significant step that would augur well for AIIMAN’s vision towards becoming a one-stop Shariah-compliant investment solution provider, serving both our retail and institutional clients,” Akmal said.
By leveraging on the strength of parent company Affin Hwang Asset Management (Affin Hwang AM) with its wide distribution network and sales channels, Aiiman was able to hit the ground running and serve the market immediately.
Akmal said due to slower growth and higher volatility that jolted risk-assets, “we saw the Shariah space endure a similarly challenging period much like its conventional counterpart last year”.
Though, over the long-term the performance of both Shariah and conventional indices would be comparable. For instance, the three-year returns of the MSCI AC Asia Islamic ex Japan Index of 19.7% is just a shade higher than the conventional MSCI AC Asia (ex-Japan) Index which gained 19.3%.
Akmal said as the fund focused on attractive dividend yielding securities and potential dividend leaders within the Shariah space, investors would benefit from an added source of diversification in addition to having a stable income stream in the medium to long-term.
He pointed out the fund’s Shariah screening filters would also put emphasis on businesses with low gearing levels and stable cashflows.
This strategy, he said, would ensure the fund’s holdings are composed of resilient counters with strong cashflow generation that has the ability to sustain their dividend pay-outs,” Akmal said.
The Fund is suitable for retail investors who want regular income distribution and capital gains, have a medium to long-term investment horizon and have a moderate risk tolerance.
The base currency of the fund is in ringgit with a minimum investment amount of RM1,000.