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Robeco to launch first Islamic water fund

Manama, May 10, 2009

Bahrain-based Robeco Middle East has announced that it will be launching one of the world's first Islamic water funds.

The launch will be in association with their boutique SAM, one of the world's leading asset managers in the field of sustainability investments, and in conjunction with Gatehouse Bank, one of the leading Islamic banks.

It will offer, on a global basis, the first-ever Sharia-compliant investment strategy in the area of water.

This investment strategy offers professional investors with a long-term investment horizon the opportunity to participate in the worldwide growth of forward-looking, sustainability-oriented companies involved in the entire value chain of water, while adhering to Sharia norms.

Together with Gatehouse Bank, Robeco and SAM have broadened even further their range of international investment strategies.

Gatehouse Bank is specialised in Islamic finance and banking and last year was named the best new Islamic bank by Islamic Finance News.

This new collaborative Islamic finance water strategy affords investors with a long-term time horizon the opportunity to gain a financial interest in sustainability-oriented companies that offer technologies, products and services throughout the entire value chain of water processing and transportation.

Within the framework of this collaborative effort, Gatehouse Bank will bring its know-how and expertise to bear in the Sharia screening of the companies in the fund by its Sharia Advisory Board, while SAM will attend to the asset management aspects of the strategy.

SAM's more than 14 years of experience in the management of sustainability investments - in particular, also since 2001 in the area of water - and Gatehouse Bank's extensive know-how in terms of Sharia screening and a world-wide network of Sharia-compliant investors form the basis for a successful joint venture.

The world-wide market for water is characterised by its above-average growth potential. Global developments - such as population growth, investments in the renewal of water-resource infrastructure, the strategic need for potable water, as well as efficient water management - will represent significant growth drivers in the years ahead.

Robeco Middle East chief executive Douglas Hansen-Luke said after 10 years successfully serving the Bahrain and Gulf markets, I am delighted that Robeco is able to be the first to offer this important product to local needs and values.

'Efficient and profitable use of the world's natural resources is this decade's biggest investment issue. We believe that our view of responsible investing is closely aligned to many of the principles of Islamic finance,' he said.

'By joining forces with Gatehouse Bank, we have at our side a very competent and highly reputable partner for the launch of the world's first Islamic finance water strategy - a strategy that affords long-term oriented investors attractive, Sharia-compliant opportunities in the areas of water,' SAM chief executive Sander van Eijkern said.

'This partnership enables us to gain access to the promising segment of Islamic finance, which is expected to grow substantially in the years ahead. Internationally, SAM is ideally positioned to participate in this up-and-coming field and thereby further expand its overall market share,' he said.

'We are pleased to have found an innovative partner - SAM - who offers incomparable specialised know-how and experience in the area of sustainability investments,' Gatehouse Bank chief executive David Testa.

'Thanks to our own expertise in Islamic finance, together we can offer investors a tailor-made Sharia-compliant strategy for investments in the sustainable water sector,' he said.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: investment | finance | Islamic | Robeco | water funds |

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