Super fund launched

AN Islamic superannuation fund has been launched in Australia to cater for the estimated 500,000 Muslims living around the nation.

The Shariah Approved Lending Investment Corporation has been launched at schools, mosques and Muslim community events as it moves into an untapped market.

SALIC chief executive officer Malik Helweh said the group was designed to be part of well-defined religious teachings, philosophies and theologies.

Islamic investment philosophies compared with those of Christians and Jews, he said.

Financial services provided to religious groups are among the fastest growing sectors globally.

“There are over 100 financial institutions exclusively providing Islamic compliant financial services,” Mr Helweh said.

“Australian banks have traditionally ignored this community and lagged behind other inter-national financial institutions that had created specific Islamic compliant products for their respective Islamic communities.”

A Shariah committee has been formed to screen out gambling, alcohol, pig meat and interest-bearing income streams.

This means that financial institutions, including banks, are off the portfolio, as are companies with high lending, as well as bonds and other interest-related instruments.

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