Sydney, 4 June 2012 – Australian Islamic wealth manager Crescent Wealth and HSBC1 have announced the launch of Australia’s first Islamic cash management fund, the latest in Crescent Wealth’s growing suite of investment products designed to comply with Islamic investment principles.

Open to retail and wholesale investors in Australia, the Crescent Wealth Islamic Cash Management Fund will be invested in Australian dollar-denominated Islamic term deposit of HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad, a full fledged Islamic subsidiary within the HSBC Group licensed in Malaysia. The fund is expected to return around 3 to 4% per annum.

Crescent Wealth founder and Managing Director, Talal Yassine, said the cash fund added an important new dimension to the suite of products Crescent Wealth was making available to Australians wanting to invest according to Islamic principles.

“Cash is a key component of any balanced investment portfolio and there is demand in Australia for a managed cash product that is shariah-compliant,” Mr Yassine said.

“The cash fund is an important milestone as we build to the launch of Australia’s first Islamic superannuation platform later this year. The prohibition on the earning of interest obviously poses particular constraints on the structuring cash products for shariah-sensitive investors,” he said.

Rizwan Jawaid, Director, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad, said: “The Crescent Wealth Islamic Cash Management Fund aims to provide competitive shariahcompliant returns in Australian dollars.”

“With HSBC Group’s global network and reach, including in Islamic banking, HSBC is in a unique position to support Crescent Wealth in the development of Islamic-compliant investment solutions – in Australia.”

“HSBC Amanah Malaysia is an Islamic bank licensed in Malaysia since 2008; and the Australian dollardenominated Islamic term deposit that the Fund is invested into is one of the wide range of Shariah compliant financial solutions currently offered by HSBC Amanah.”

Islamic banking is one of the fastest growing financial sectors today. Global Islamic banking assets exceed US$1 trillion today and there is an estimated US$58 billion in managed funds invested in equities according to Islamic principles.2

The new cash management product follows Crescent Wealth’s launch of an Islamic Australian equities fund in October 2011, and an Islamic international equities fund, managed by leading US-based Islamic investment specialist Saturna Capital, last February.

Crescent Wealth was established last year with the intent of launching Australia’s first Islamiccompliant superannuation product. Crescent Wealth estimates that the total potential pool of funds in Australia suited to Islamic-compliant investment ranges from $4 billion to $8 billion today, and could grow to as much as $13 billion by 2019. The company believes its specialised investment products have appeal not only to the Islamic community in Australia, but also investors generally attracted to a low-risk, low-leverage investment profile, and global Islamic funds seeking exposure to the Australian market.

[ENDS]

1 HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad is a licensed Islamic bank in Malaysia and wholly owned by HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad.

2 Source: Ernst & Young Islamic Funds & Investment Report 2011.

About Crescent Wealth

Crescent Wealth is Australia’s only wealth manager with a specialist focus on Islamic investing. Crescent Wealth has been granted an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL 365260) by ASIC, and manages all aspects of its funds under this licence, including product development, registration, legal, accounting, auditing, marketing and distribution. Crescent Wealth officially launched the Crescent Wealth Australian Equity Fund (CAEF) in October 2011 as the first of four Islamic-compliant funds for the Australian market, the others being Crescent Wealth International Equity Fund launched in February 2012, the Crescent Wealth Islamic Cash Management Fund and the Crescent Wealth Diversified Property Fund to be launched in late 2012. These funds will be open to both private and institutional investors.

Crescent Wealth’s target market will comprise all Australians interested in avoiding investment in leverage, Muslim community organisations, high-net-worth individuals, professionals, and institutional investors in Australia and, eventually, overseas. Crescent Wealth Funds Management (Aust) Limited AFSL 365260 is the issuer of the Crescent Wealth Australian Equity Fund.

About HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad

HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad is a licensed Islamic bank in Malaysia and is wholly owned by HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad.

About Islamic Finance

The Islamic banking industry today stands at several hundred billion dollars (estimates vary), and consists of more than 300 financial institutions in and outside the Muslim world. It is the product of the collective effort of bankers, economists, and Islamic legal scholars over the past several decades to develop financial solutions that meet the religious requirements of Muslims. Islamic finance is an inclusive paradigm: non-Muslim individuals and communities that seek ethical financial solutions have also been attracted to Islamic banking.

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