Published On:24 April 2013
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi unveils plans for US$500 million global halal fund

IMO News Service

'Halal Opportunities Fund' to secure integrity of halal food supply chain as global sales, including pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, hits US$2.1 trillion annually

Dubai: Former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi today revealed plans for a US$500 million private equity fund focused on global opportunities in the halal industry.

The fund is expected to be raised in stages and the aim, through a "roll-up" strategy, is to acquire, convert (non-halal companies) and grow companies in the food and agri-business sectors so as to have global reach as well as offer a diverse range of high quality quick service restaurant (QSR) products and services.

"There have been global developments in halal awareness, standard and certification, manufacturing and trade in the last decade. It is now time to create strong investment opportunities to enable more participation in this important halal sector," said Badawi at the launch of Azka Capital at the eighth World Halal Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Rushdi Siddiqui, Co-Founder and Managing Director Azka Capital
Azka Capital is a private equity advisory firm focused on halal industry initiatives. It has assembled a team which has a thorough understanding of the global halal food landscape including working with certifying industry bodies from 55 countries through its strategic partnership with the International Halal Integrity Alliance.

"Azka is advised by world-class practitioners from the halal food sector, and Shariah advisory services from Dar Al Shariah and Amanie Advisors and Mr Badawi is Chairman of its Advisory Board," said Rushdi Siddiqui, Co-Founder and Managing Director Azka Capital.
The highly fragmented nature of the industry would benefit from a consolidated strategy while Azka's proprietary access to deal flow makes it uniquely positioned to capitalise upon this opportunity," he added.

Siddiqui went on to explain that food security has become an integral part of national security policy in part because many Muslim countries are net importers of food and generally do not control the supply chains and, hence, the integrity of their food.

Dr. Abdullah Badawi
"The recent scandals including horsemeat in Europe and, more alarmingly, the evidence of pork DNA in halal beef by the very multinational companies responsible for halal integrity should be unacceptable to all halal stakeholders. Paying lip service to food security is wholly inadequate. The Halal Opportunities Fund is the first opportunity for investors and policymakers to take concrete steps toward securing the integrity of their food supply," he concluded.

Currently the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) nations' food imports exceed US$40 billion annually, an overwhelming majority of their consumption. That figure will doubtless increase substantially with current estimates forecasting that the global Muslim population is expected to increase from 1.6 billion at present to 2.2 billion by 2030.

Commenting on Shari'a compliance, Dr Nasser Saidi, Member of Azka Advsiory Board, Founder and President of Nasser Saidi & Associates and former Chief Economist of Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) said: "Ethical, Shari'a compliant investors have typically relied on various 'filters' to weed out non-compliant publicly available investment opportunities. But these filters are not always reliable and cannot keep up with new opportunities and are typically limited to developed markets. There is a better way: direct equity investing in vetted industries and activities on an international basis. That is what is being offered to investors through the Halal Fund. This is major innovation in the ethical investment space."

About Azka Capital

The Azka Capital team has assembled an experienced and multi-functional team who have a thorough understanding of the global halal food landscape including working with certifying industry bodies from 55 countries through its strategic partnership with the International Halal Integrity Alliance. The team has vast experience with the halal sector combined with several billion dollars in executed deals, access to proprietary deal flow, and structuring transactions with Islamic modes of financing and investing. Azka's strategy is focused on acquiring, integrating, incubating, growing and exiting companies. Please visit at www.azkacapital.com

About Dar Al Sharia

Dar Al Sharia (DAS) is a Dubai-based subsidiary of Dubai Islamic Bank, the world's first Islamic bank. Over a period of 9 years, DAS developed the reputation as authentic and one-stop solution centre for all Islamic finance advisory and consultancy needs. It specializes in Sharia-compliant structuring and documentation for all types of Sukuk, Syndication and Funds, besides product development, restructuring, R&D for innovative products, Sharia audit and training, conversion of conventional financial institutions into Islamic ones, and the other allied services. It has a well-qualified team of Sharia scholars, lawyers, Sharia researchers, financial analysts, capital market specialists, accountants, bankers and other professionals working under the guidance of Dr. Hussain Hamed Hassan, a highly learned Sharia scholar and head of several Sharia boards in the region.

Amanie Advisors Sdn Bhd

Amanie Advisors Sdn Bhd (''Amanie'') is a Shariah advisory, consultancy, training and research and develop­ment boutique for institutional and corporate clientele focusing on Islamic financial services. It has been established with the aim of addressing the global needs for experts' and Shariah scholars' pro-active input. This will ultimately allow the players in the industry to manage and achieve their business and financial goals in accordance with the Shariah Principles.

Amanie is guided by its international Shariah Supervisory Board consisting of four globally renowned Shariah scholars namely;
i) Dr Mohamed Ali Elgari (Chairman) (Saudi Arabia)
ii) Dr Muhammad Amin Al Qattan (Qatar)
iii) Dr Mohd Daud Bakar (Malaysia)
iv) Dr Osama Al Dereai (Kuwait)

About KasehDia

KasehDia is a communication and consulting firm focused on the application of Islamic values in a universal and contemporary setting. Established in 1999 KasehDia has provided high level consultations for businesses and governments and created game changing global forums and content. KasehDia became the world pioneer in concept-based (halal) communication and developmental systems.

In 2003 it launched an integrated global initiative on the 'halal industry', a term it coined. It involves strategic projects in media, consultancy, training, business forums and lobby efforts on the global scale. Its key halal initiatives include The Halal Journal, Halal Food Guide Series, Muslim Travel Guide Series, the World Halal Forum, Global Halal Lead Auditor Training and lead consultation for the Government of Malaysia for the Halal Chapter in Malaysia's 3rd Industrial Master Plan (2006-2020). Due to its prolific and cutting edge ideas, KasehDia and its initiatives have been featured on the cover of TIME magazine, The New York Times, Asia Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Forbes, Guardian UK and Bloomberg.

About Nova Capital

Nova Capital Global Markets LLC is a leading middle market global investment bank. Nova offers a full range of investment banking services to middle market companies, and specializes in facilitating transactions in emerging markets. Nova provides clients with access to all forms of equity, senior debt, subordinated debt, convertible debt, and mezzanine financing. For more information about Nova please visit: www.novacapitalglobal.com.

For more information, contact:

Darhim Hasim,
Managing Principal,
darhim.hashim@azkacapital.com or info@azkacapital.com

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on April 24, 2013. Filed under , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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