BIMB Investment eyes RM1b equity fund

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

BIMB Investment Management Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, aims to grow the BIMB-Arabesque i Global Dividend Fund 1 (BiGDF1), a global Islamic-ESG (environment, social and governance) equity fund, to RM1 billion this year.

BIMB Investment CEO Najmuddin Mohd Lutfi said the size of the BiGDF1 fund currently stands at over RM800 million, with existing distribution partners including Malayan Banking Bhd, Affin Bank Bhd, Alliance Islamic Bank Bhd, Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd and Fundsupermart.

Najmuddin said three more financial institutions will be engaged — including foreign organisations — as distribution partners for the country’s first analytics-powered fund under the ESG theme.

BIMB Investment yesterday announced a partnership with CIMB Bank Bhd and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd to distribute the BiGDF1 fund, touted to be the country’s maiden artificial intelligence (AI) fund.

“We are seeing very encouraging support or subscription to the fund year-to-date. The BiGDF1 fund can now be subscribed by qualified institutional and retail investors through CIMB Bank’s branches nationwide,” Najmuddin said at the partnership launch yesterday.

CIMB Islamic Bank CEO Mohamed Rafe Mohamed Haneef, who was also present at the event, said the BiGDF1 fund would be a boon to its wealth customers to fulfil ESG objectives through investments without sacrificing returns.

BIMB Investment plans to expand the fund’s penetration to Indonesia and Brunei in 2020 after its venture in Singapore early this year.

Launched in 2017, the BiGDF1 fund uses AI and machine learning to assess data of more than 77,000 ESG stocks globally, by processing more than 100 billion data points and rebalancing the portfolio daily based on an algorithm.

Such a screening mechanism removes human biases and emotions in the investment decision-making process, while taking into account both financial and non-financial information of each stock to remove investment risks.

As at March 1, 2019, the fund has been ranked first in the global Shariah equity category for the three-year period against its peers with total returns of 29.81% and 32.72% for its ringgit and US dollar class respectively.

It announced an income distribution of 8% for both ringgit- and US dollar-denominated funds for 2018.