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Growth of Shariah Compliant Funds in Luxembourg

Pierre Oberlé, Business Development Manager
Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI)
September 2011

Pierre Oberlé looks at the special benefits Luxembourg offers to Shariah compliant fund promoters, and reviews the latest developments in this area.

Luxembourg’s strengths in conventional investment funds make Shariah compliant investment funds a natural next step. Over the past 20 years, the Grand Duchy has become the leading centre for global fund distribution and Europe’s number one fund domicile in terms of assets. It now also ranks in the top five domiciles for Islamic funds.

The development of UCITS and implications for Shariah compliant investments

While Luxembourg’s success in the fund industry is a result of its business model, it is above all the success story of a truly European idea: the UCITS framework, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last December. On 16th December 2010, the Luxembourg Parliament ratified UCITS IV, making Luxembourg once again — as in 1985 and 2002 — the first EU country to incorporate the new rules into national law.

UCITS stands for ‘Undertaking for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities’, and derives from a European directive of the 20th December 1985 that introduced a single EU-wide regulatory regime for open-ended funds investing in transferable securities such as shares or bonds.

This directive is aimed at ensuring high levels of investor protection; it regulates the organisation, management and oversight of UCITS funds, and sets rules for diversification, liquidity and risk management.

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