Nomura Malaysia rolls out 1st Shariah sustainable equity fund

The fund gives their clients more opportunities and ways to invest according to their principles to achieve their investment goals

by NURUL SUHAIDI

NOMURA Asset Management Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian fund management unit of Nomura Holdings Inc, established its first Nomura Global Shariah Sustainable Equity Fund.

The establishment is part of the goals to improve local investor access and cater to the growing demand for impact investing, as well as the shariah compliance investment preference in the market, in addition to the conventional investment.

Nomura Asset Management Malaysia MD and country head Leslie Yap (picture) said their goal is to offer their clients more opportunities and ways to invest according to their principles to achieve their investment goals, as well as to generate a positive impact.

“We believe we can do so by providing long-term value with quality solutions that combine ESG (environmental, social and governance) and shariah principles,” he said during the launch at Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Speaking during the panel discussion in conjunction with the launch, ED of sustainable equities portfolio manager and analyst Alex Rowe said investors especially the institutional ones have huge power to influence the market decision.

“Therefore, businesses need to acknowledge their role to invest in a certain way that is bridging the gap toward sustainable investment and engage with the companies to accelerate the sustainable and impactful investing.”

In addition to that, Climate Governance Malaysia chairperson and director Datin Seri Sunita Rajakumar said many businesses have increased their sustainability ambition and see the sustainable investment as a competitive advantage, as they want to be associated with the agenda.

“Therefore, a reliable platform is needed to open the door for more sustainable investment and to pivot in the industry since Malaysian businesses are becoming more conscious of their key performance index (KPI) and KPI business direction.

“Not only that, but the decision to invest sustainability also may be a stepping stone toward more sustainable purchase decision just among the business but for a better generation,” Sunita said.

Meanwhile, ZICO Shariah Advisor Services Aida Othman noted that the conversation on the shariah framework has gained traction and Malaysia needs to move forward with the awareness.

“In the country we have, one of the best frameworks for shariah investment, supportive regulatory authority, and passionate industry players, and to progress a lot faster, we need to move ahead with the awareness and to position Malaysia better,” she said during the panel discussion.

The equity fund is available in Malaysia from today for a minimum initial investment of RM1,000 and US$1,000 (RM4,400).

Nomura Asset Management UK Ltd has been appointed as the investment advisor to the fund, and will provide investment research and stock recommendations in accordance with the investment objectives and within the investment restrictions and limits of the fund.

The group is actively integrating and progressing toward its six impact goals focused on mitigating climate change, natural capital depreciation and obesity, eliminating communicable diseases.

It also involves providing global access to clean drinking water and basic financial services, which in turn are all aligned to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The equity fund is part of the mission to alleviate not only the portfolio companies’ financial performance but also on their positive social impact.