Wahed Invest launches Malaysia’s first Islamic digital investment platform which allows investors access to a Shariah compliant portfolio, that is transparent, impartial and aims to empower Malaysians at large to take charge of their financial well-being.
US-based Wahed Invest, which is available in more than 130 countries was first launched in 2017, and expanded into the UK market in 2018, plans to roll out its digital investment management services across the Southeast Asia region from its regional base here in Malaysia.
Wahed is designed to cater to both the financially savvy investors as well as those with little financial knowledge, making diversified investments accessible. Coupled with low starting investment of RM 100, low fees, and no lock-in period, Wahed hopes to remove the barriers to investment management and portfolios that were traditionally reserved for high net worth investors.
“Islamic finance is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, and Wahed has enabled the global Muslim community to participate in global financial markets by making investing both accessible and ethically compliant. As one of the most developed Islamic capital markets, Malaysia is uniquely positioned to meet the increasingly sophisticated and demanding needs of Southeast Asian investors and help create opportunities in Islamic finance,” said Junaid Wahedna, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wahed Inc.
According to the World Bank Report, Malaysia has achieved one of the highest levels of financial inclusion among Southeast Asia countries, but Malaysians’ still lag behind when it comes to financial literacy and knowledge.
A recent survey conducted by the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) reported that one out of three Malaysians are not comfortable with their financial knowledge, while half of the population (52 percent) say they face difficulties raising even RM1,000 for emergencies. Over half of Malaysians (53 percent) believe that wealth management is the key to achieving social mobility. However, most Malaysians feel their inadequate financial knowledge has hindered them from efficient wealth management.
Syakir Hashim, Director and Chief Executive Officer for APAC of Wahed Inc shares, “Amid Malaysia’s recent push towards shared prosperity through a more inclusive economy that is rooted in technology and innovation, we at Wahed are empowering Malaysians with better access to a secure financial future. We recognize Malaysia as one of our key markets and a country that is on track to becoming a leader in Islamic Digital Economy backed by an ecosystem that is fast-growing.
Malaysia will be playing a key role in driving our growth in the Asia Pacific as the Regional Hub for our operations. Everyone has different financial goals and aspirations, but for an inexperienced or first time investor, the lack of proper financial education and opportunities, coupled with daunting and sometimes difficult to understand financial jargon is enough to deter and prevent them from investing and taking charge of their financial well-being.”
“Through Wahed, we encourage our investors to take charge of their financial well-being by providing them a smarter investment tool that is in line with their faith. We aim to ensure that all Muslims have access to an efficient Shari’ah compliant investment portfolio, regardless of their economic status or geographic location,” Syakir Hashim adds.
Wahed’s current portfolio allocation options include investments into US stocks, Malaysian stocks, sukuk (Islamic bonds), and gold. In order to ensure all returns are halal, Wahed has a full-time Shariah Advisory Board, which undertakes a rigorous screening process and produces annual purification reports (Zakat). As a result, Muslim and non-Muslim investors alike are now able to invest worry-free into portfolios that are ethically sound.
Wahed Inc’s subsidiaries are regulated by some of the world’s most respected jurisdictions including Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) and the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).