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REPORT ANOUNCEMENT – ISLAMIC FINANCE AND THE PRINCIPLES FOR RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT – 24th March 2021

“DDCAP Group Showcased in Pioneering Global Responsible Investment Report.”

UK – 24th March 2021, DDCAP Group has welcomed the launch of a new global report looking at responsible investment.

The report, published by Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC) in partnership with Malaysia based International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA), is the second report in a 4-part thought leadership series that aims to assist and encourage active engagement in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the global Islamic finance sector.

The report provides a quantitative and qualitative analysis of responsible investing in the Islamic finance sector, assessing the level of engagement with the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) amongst financial institutions in Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states and analysing the approaches and terminology used by 12 Islamic finance signatories. It also features a detailed case study on DDCAP Group, showcasing how the London-based market intermediary and financial technology solutions provider has developed its Sustainable & Responsible Actions programme to help create a more sustainable, equitable and prosperous world.

The PRI, which launched in 2006, is the world’s leading framework for responsible investment and is underpinned by six voluntary and aspirational investment Principles that support signatories to incorporate Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) issues into their investment practices. This enable signatories to align with the broader sustainable objectives of society – as currently best defined by PRI as the SDGs. The report uses the PRI as a proxy to demonstrate engagement with the broader fast growing global responsible investment and ethical finance market and explores if the Islamic finance sector is successfully engaging in such or missing out on a multi-trillion dollar commercial opportunity.

DDCAP Group was the first and, as yet, the only provider of asset facilitation services focused on Shariah compliant products to become a service provider signatory to the PRI.

With its underlying Shari’ah principles, Islamic finance is naturally aligned to, not only support but, lead the financial services sector’s efforts towards achieving the SDGs. However, whilst a small number of organisations, such as DDCAP Group, are making significant progress the report has highlighted the pressing need to raise awareness, in OIC member states and beyond, of responsible investing and the ‘triple bottom line’ benefits to be achieved by integrating Shariah compliance with ESG strategies.

TAKEAWAYS FROM THE REPORT INCLUDE:

  • Of the 83 countries containing PRI signatories only 12 are OIC member states.
  • These 12 OIC member states have 37 PRI signatories, comprising 24 investment managers, 4 asset owners and 9 service providers.
  • Despite the OIC member states having a collective population of over 1.82 billion (24% of the total world population) only 37 (1%) of the 3,575 PRI worldwide signatories are based within them.
  • Between 2008 and 2016 there were 9 PRI signatories based in OIC member states but since 2017 a further 28 new signatories have joined the PRI.
  • Responsible investing presents an opportunity for Islamic asset managers to tap into emerging agnostic global liquidity pools seeking SDG-aligned products and increase their assets under responsible management.
  • Aligning Shariah compliant and ESG investment strategies supports the tayyib concept enabling Islamic financial institutions to deliver financial returns and societal impact within the established shariah compliance framework. The tayyib thematic within Islamic finance presents one of the biggest growth opportunities for the industry.
  • The screening modules embedded within DDCAP Group’s ETHOS AFP have been extended to allow clients to reflect Sustainable & Responsible Actions considerations in the commodity they select.

With OIC countries amongst those in greatest need of SDG investment more work must be done to raise the profile and increase adoption of the PRI amongst the 57 OIC member states as well as the global Islamic finance investment community. By working together Islamic finance institutions have the opportunity to develop and position Shariah-compliant ESG engagement as a beacon of responsible investment.

ENDS

DOWNLOAD THE REPORThttps://www.ukifc.com/sdg/

QUOTES

“Whilst this report highlights that there is still considerable work to be done to promote engagement within the OIC member states, DDCAP is encouraged by the increased momentum in the Islamic Finance industry’s commitment to the Principles of the PRI.  As a PRI signatory and a market intermediary DDCAP aspires to connect to the global Islamic financial market responsibly and we stand ready to support our industry colleagues on their journey to a more sustainable and responsible way of doing business.”

 

Stella Cox CBE, Managing Director, DDCAP Group

“Islamic finance is naturally aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But the low level of engagement with the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in the OIC region means there is a huge opportunity. Through our Global Islamic Finance and SDGs Taskforce we have the platform to work with PRI and the Islamic finance sector to increase awareness, promote understanding and encourage adoption of the Principles.”

 

Omar Shaikh, Board Member, UKIFC

 

“We welcome this important report which aims to build on the nascent development of ESG investment and the SDGs amongst the Islamic finance community. The alignment of people, profit and planet and the drive to achieve a sustainable global financial system is a universal one; we invite asset owners, investment managers and service providers working in Islamic finance to join us at PRI to further this mission.”

 

Fiona Reynolds, CEO, Principles for Responsible Investment

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS

The Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC) is a specialist, not-for-profit, advisory and developmental body focused on promoting and enhancing the global Islamic and ethical finance industry. It has helped six countries develop enabling regulatory frameworks for Islamic finance, enhancing financial inclusion to over 15 million people, established the award-winning Ethical Finance Round Table series running since 2010, launched the world’s first joint venture between Islamic finance and the Church of Scotland, and delivered development sessions to over 500 Islamic scholars across the globe. In 2020 the UKIFC, alongside the British Government’s Treasury department, established the Islamic Finance and Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) taskforce, which will be anchored in London.

UKIFC https://www.ukifc.com/

SDG Taskforcehttps://www.ukifc.com/sdg/

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO ARRANGE AN INTERVIEW PLEASE CONTACT:

Chris Tait – chris@ukifc.com / +44(0)7931 103573

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