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Eq8 Collaborates With Yayasan Waqaf Malaysia For World’s First Waqf ETF

From left: Datuk Wira Ismitz Matthew De Alwis, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, Kenanga Investors Berhad; Umar Alhadad, Executive Director, Eq8 Capital Sdn Bhd; Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift, Chief Executive Officer, Bursa Malaysia Berhad; Datuk Kamarudin Hashim, Managing Director, Securities Commission Malaysia; Dr. Ridzwan Bakar, Chief Executive Officer, Yayasan Waqaf Malaysia; Dato’ Haji Ibrahim bin Haji Md. Yusof, Member of the Board of Trusts Yayasan Waqaf Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur, 12 June 2024 – Eq8 Capital Sdn Bhd (“Eq8”), a member of Kenanga Investors Group, has announced a new strategic collaboration with Yayasan Waqaf Malaysia (“YWM”) towards the launching of the first waqf-featured exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) to be issued in the world.

As a leader in Shariah equity ETF, Eq8’s collaboration with YWM is a continued partnership between Eq8’s parent company, Kenanga Investors Berhad (“Kenanga Investors”) and YWM, which commenced in 2021 with the launch of the Kenanga Waqf Al-Ihsan Fund in 2021, followed by the Kenanga Sustainability Series: Emergency Waqf Musa’adah Fund in 2022.

“Eq8, along with Kenanga Investors, continue to spearhead the charge in promoting waqf-related capital market products. We believe the new initiative will significantly contribute to the growth of the ETF market by drawing in investors who are not only interested in the financial benefits of ETFs, such as diversification and liquidity, but also in making a positive social impact through their investments. By merging financial gains with social returns, we can appeal to a broader range of investors, fostering greater innovation and expansion within the ETF sector”, said Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Kenanga Investors, Datuk Wira Ismitz Matthew De Alwis at the announcement of the collaboration held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, witnessed by representatives from Securities Commission Malaysia, Bursa Malaysia, and the Board of Trustees of YWM.

Commenting on the features of the first-of-its-kind ETF, Umar Alhadad, Executive Director of Eq8, explained, “Expected to launch on Bursa Malaysia this year, the new waqf-featured ETF is designed to achieve steady capital growth and income distribution by investing in a diversified portfolio that adheres to Shariah principles. In accordance with the proposed waqf product feature, half of the derived income will be distributed to sectors such as education, healthcare, economic empowerment and environmental preservation or development. Our dual impact investing approach ensures that investors can profit with purpose, making a significant difference in the community while achieving their financial goals”.

The collaboration serves as Kenanga Investors’ alongside its subsidiary’s continued commitment in supporting the Securities Commission Malaysia’s Islamic Fund and Wealth Management Blueprint as well as the Waqf-Featured Fund Framework (“Framework”), introduced in 2017 and 2020 respectively. The Framework which was expanded further in 2022 was followed by enhancements to the Bursa Malaysia Main Market Listing Requirements to facilitate the offering of ETFs with waqf feature. The cohesive efforts from various segments of the industry signifies the nation’s efforts in taking lead within the Islamic finance space to include initiatives to integrate financial and social objectives towards socially impactful activities via waqf.

YWM’s Chief Executive Officer, YBrs. Dr. Ridzwan Bakar said, “The upcoming launch of the world’s first global waqf featured ETF represents a milestone achievement aligned with Yayasan Waqaf Malaysia’s core objectives. By leveraging innovative waqf instruments, we aim to develop existing waqf properties, establish new waqfs, and drive economic empowerment within the ummah. This ETF not only provides a unique avenue for channelling funds into socially impactful projects but also amplifies the reach and effectiveness of our efforts. Our partnership with Eq8 and Kenanga Investors underscores our commitment to advancing the ummah economy and realising the full potential of waqf investments.”

The announcement follows Eq8’s recent rebranding exercise and product accessibility collaboration with Phillip Capital Management Sdn Bhd. This continuous momentum highlights Eq8’s dedication to promoting financial empowerment and inclusivity.

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