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CBB go-ahead for first offshore Islamic fund

MANAMA: The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has authorised formation and marketing of the Hyperion Australian Equity Islamic Fund, the first Sharia-compliant offshore fund comprised of the country's stocks.

Investment manager for the fund is Hyperion Asset Management, a Brisbane-based, growth-style manager whose award-winning core investment team has worked together since 1997.

The fund is available for expert investors, defined by Bahrain authorities as individuals and institutions that have at least $100,000 in financial assets, as well as governments and related organisations.

The fund is managed in Australian dollars and reported in US dollars.

"In the post-recession era, Australia stands out among the major markets, in part because of the country's conservative fiscal stance," said Codex Capital chief executive officer Douglas Clark Johnson, who consulted on fund structuring and marketing, and represents the product in selected markets.

"We selected Bahrain as the jurisdiction for the fund because we believe the CBB's role provides an additional degree of comfort for investors," said Mr Johnson.

"Meeting Bahrain requirements enhances transparency and integrity at a time when these attributes have taken on much greater importance. Bahrain contrasts with some other offshore jurisdictions that provide little or no oversight for the investor," he added.

"We are delighted to welcome the Hyperion Australian Equity Islamic Fund to Bahrain," said Economic Development Board chief executive officer Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa.

"This reflects the growing international appeal of Islamic finance, an ethical investment sector that has drawn interest beyond Muslim countries.

"This licence is a testament to the positive business environment that we seek to create in Bahrain, from our business-friendly approach to the quality of our ancillary services.

"The fund management industry in Bahrain has gone from strength to strength in recent years and it's one of the sectors where we continue to see real growth potential," he added.



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