Jeddah-based investment firm Sedco Capital aims to expand its range of Islamic funds to more than 15 by year-end, a sign of improving financial market sentiment and changing investor attitudes in Saudi Arabia.
The plan adds momentum to the Gulf's Islamic funds industry, which has been hurt by the global financial crisis but is now attracting regional firms such as Qatar's QInvest, which aims to launch 30 funds.
Sedco Capital, a fully owned subsidiary of Sedco Holding, intends to raise assets under management on its Luxembourg fund platform to US$1.6bn by year-end from US$1bn now, said CEO Hasan Aljabri.
"We plan to expand our range of asset classes and will be introducing products in commodities, real estate and private equities," Aljabri said. "We have definitely seen growth in asset management companies setting up in Saudi Arabia."
Saudi-based firms Aljazira Capital, Alkhabeer Capital, KSB Capital, MEFIC Capital, Al Rajhi Capital and Alawwal Capital launched Islamic funds in 2012.
Sedco Capital now has seven Islamic funds in Luxembourg, Aljabri said. In May and July last year, it launched five Islamic funds including a rare REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) fund, which invests in income properties that are listed on stock exchanges around the world.