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Saturna Sdn. Bhd.
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Saturna Sdn Bhd Launches Islamic ASEAN Equity Fund in Malaysia

The fund's uniquely open and low cost fee structure is aimed to align with investor interests

Kuala Lumpur, (February 7, 2014)Saturna Sdn. Bhd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based Saturna Capital Corporation, launched today its ASEAN Equity Fund, a Malaysian fund focused on public equities of Islamically-qualified companies in the ASEAN region. Saturna’s Islamic screening process is based on some of the most stringent criteria in the Islamic fund industry. The Fund, denominated in Malaysian ringgit, is available to domestic and foreign qualified high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors. 

Saturna Sdn Bhd is licensed as an Islamic fund manager under the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC).  The company believes that Malaysia’s comprehensive and progressive Islamic finance marketplace, which is open to the international community, will help the company build a strong Islamic investor base in Malaysia as well as among Asian and global investors.

The ASEAN Equity Fund has a low-fee structure designed to be fair, transparent, and aligned with the long-term interests of unit holders.  The Fund is offered with no sales charge, low administrative fees, and transparent distribution fees.  Additionally, the management fee of the Fund is performance-based — the management receives no fee unless the fund makes money for its investors. 

The Fund seeks to capitalize on the expected growth resulting from further economic integration within the ASEAN region. A single market and production base for the ASEAN countries creates closer ties within the region and makes it more competitive globally.

The Fund invests in a diversified portfolio of Shariah-compliant equities across the ASEAN region, using a values-based investment approach developed by Saturna Capital’s, chief investment officer and highly-regarded veteran investor Nicholas Kaiser. The criteria for stock selection will include identifying companies with improving fundamentals and growth at reasonable valuations. 

The ASEAN Equity Fund’s investment team has deep experience managing strategies that adhere to Islamic investing principles, as well as strong expertise in ASEAN equity markets. The investment team includes the Fund’s Kuala Lumpur-based portfolio manager Monem Salam and several analysts, as well as US-based Nicholas Kaiser and Saturna’s director of research, Scott Klimo.

Mr. Salam has 19 years of experience running Shariah-compliant global investment programs and, over the last few years, private ASEAN investment mandates. He was previously deputy portfolio manager of Saturna Capital’s Amana Income and Amana Growth Funds, two of the world’s largest public Islamic equity funds, as well as the Amana Developing World Fund, which invests globally including in Southeast Asia. He currently also serves as president of Saturna Sdn Bhd.

Throughout his 42-year career in investment fund management, Mr. Kaiser has built a successful record in Islamic global investing. As founder and chairman of Saturna Capital Corporation, he has developed it into an internationally recognized investment management company known as a premier specialist in Islamic asset management. Under Mr. Kaiser as portfolio manager, the Amana Funds have won multiple US and international awards.

Scott Klimo, CFA, deputy portfolio manager of the Amana Funds, leads Saturna’s research analyst team and has 26 years of investment experience, including many years of on-the-ground experience living and working in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan.

Monem Salam, Saturna ASEAN Equity Fund portfolio manager and president of Saturna Sdn. Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur, comments:

The Fund brings together Islamic investing principles, Saturna’s award-winning values-based equity investment expertise and a unique low-cost and transparent fee structure that we believe will be attractive to sophisticated investors.   

We believe the ASEAN Equity Fund will first and foremost fill a gap for high-net-worth and institutional Islamic investors in and outside Malaysia. It could also serve as a low-cost vehicle for qualified non-Muslim investors who want to access investment opportunities in the rapidly growing ASEAN markets.  An additional attraction for all qualified investors will be the Fund’s performance-based fee structure, which, in line with Shariah practices, makes sure that the management makes money only if investors do. 

Malaysia's Islamic finance marketplace provides an enabling environment for thought leadership, proliferation of ideas and innovation of cross-border products and services. We are pleased to offer a Fund that has what we believe is a first-of-its-kind fee structure in Malaysia and, to the best of our knowledge, anywhere in Southeast Asia.   Globally, investment fees are trending downward and markets are integrating to offer investors more lower-fee choices than ever. 

For more information about the Fund and its availability, please visit the ASEAN Equity Fund page.

Please consider an investment’s objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. To obtain a free prospectus that contains this and other important information about Saturna’s funds, call toll free 800/SATURNA or visit www.saturna.com. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.