A new ethical, Shariah-compliant fund aims to raise £1 billion ($1.38 billion) and become the world’s largest fund of its kind.
The Financial Services & Technologies Fund, launched by UK-based Ethos Invest will make private equity investments in Shariah-compliant and ethical small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
It will invest across the UK, Europe, the Saudi Arabia and the wider MENA region, Southeast Asia and North America, according to a statement from the company.
Target investments include emerging innovators in financial services, asset management, payments and other technology areas such as blockchain, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), cyber security, life sciences and healthcare.
The majority of capital will be deployed in the UK.
Ethos Invest said the Sharia-compliant investment industry is available across 80 countries but remains relatively new in Western markets. The fund, expected to be the largest of its kind, is to invest in the environmental social and governance (ESG) and ethical market in a Shariah-value-based manner that drives financial inclusion and benefits society.
The company has plans for additional funds across different sectors as well as an ambition to establish digital banking and wealth management offerings.
Dr Quintan Wiktorowicz, partner at Ethos Invest, said: “SMEs with strong ethical credentials are vital as we look towards a brighter future for the global economy and ensuring that these companies have access to capital is key.”
“The fund will ensure that this is taking place, especially in the financial services and wider technology spaces, and we look forward to partnering with many exciting businesses,” he added.
(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Daniel Luiz)
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