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Allianz Global Investors Launches in Middle East With Shariah Funds

Nick Parmee

29 May 2008

As part of its long term strategy and commitment to Middle Eastern clients, Allianz Global Investors will base its regional operations in a new permanent representative office in Bahrain, which will be led by Sami Zghal, chief representative and head of business development, Middle East and North Africa. Mr Zghal is an AGI veteran who was previously based in the firm’s Paris office.

As part of its initial offer to regional investors, AGI will market two new Shariah-compliant equity funds: the Allianz RCM Islamic Global Emerging Markets Equity fund and the Allianz RCM Islamic Global Equity Opportunities fund. The new funds are based on two strategies offered by the firm; the Allianz RCM Global Emerging Markets Equity Fund and the RCM Global Equity Unconstrained Shariah strategy.

AGI is the asset management arm of the German giant Allianz group, with $1.4 trillion under management.

Nick Smith, head of fund distribution at Allianz Global Investors (UK), said: “We are very committed to building a long term business in the region by offering the best of our global asset management capabilities together with a very high level of local service.  We believe that clients increasingly want access to the most sophisticated asset management expertise whether applied to well-established funds investing in core areas, or applied to newer, more innovative funds investing in specialist areas.”

The firm sees growing demand over the long term for Shariah-compliant funds, especially those based on proven strategies investing in promising areas and also believes that recent equity market corrections have provided a good entry point for investors. Despite some volatility in the short term, its medium to long term view on equities is very positive.