LONDON: The newly launched Maybank Islamic Asset Management (MIAM) has three funds in the pipeline worth a combined RM1.5 billion.
The funds, which will be launched within the next six months, will comprise a Malaysian equity fund, one Asean fund and a global sukuk, said its chief executive officer Nor Azamin Salleh.
At least one of these Islamic asset funds will be launched out of Singapore.
In an interview with Business Times on the sidelines of the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum here yesterday, he said MIAM currently has total Islamic asset size of RM3 billion.
Being a new and late entrant to the Islamic asset management industry, Nor Azamin said an asset size of RM3 billion is a good start for the company.
With the launches of its first three funds, he said "we will be building our track record and hopefully, we can be in the top three by 2017".
He added that MIAM aspires to be among the world's top by 2020 as it targets to manage some US$7 billion (RM22.4 billion) to US$8 billion worth of assets by then.
Nor Azamin said the company is fortunate to have a good team to compete with the other Islamic asset management players in Malaysia but should it be in a situation which requires expertise from outside, it will consider forming joint ventures with foreign players.
"We are strong in equity, fixed income and sukuk but for structured products like property funds, we may do a joint venture," he said.
He said MIAM is also exploring to use Maybank's London office as its launchpad, to try to tap into the Islamic asset management opportunities here as the British government is aggressively pursuing to grow its Islamic finance industry.
"There is of course demand for Islamic products among the Muslims here but for now we want to grow our business in Malaysia first," he said.
For now, Singapore will be its foreign platform to reach out to global investors due to the strong acceptance of the island republic's currency among investors.
Asked what would be the immediate challenge to market Islamic asset funds, Nor Azamin said creating yield or good returns would be one as market liquidity is still not deep enough compared with conventional ones due to the lack in product range.