Egyptian digital investment platform Thndr has launched its first Shariah compliant fund in partnership with incumbent financial institutions, expanding the limited universe of digital Islamic investments in the North African market.
The fund, known as Misr Takaful Fund, was rolled out in partnership with Misr Insurance and Arab African Investment Management (AAIM). Misr Insurance, which boasts a portfolio of over EGP60 billion (US$3.23 billion), owns the fund through its Islamic insurance arm while AAIM, which has over EGP12.4 billion (US$668.55 million) in total assets under management, is managing the fund.
Misr Takaful Fund is an open-ended money market fund offering daily subscriptions and redemption. It invests mainly in Egyptian treasury bills (T-bills) designated as Shariah compliant by an internal committee led by the former grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr Ali Gomaa.
Up to 90% of the fund will be invested into T-bills and 49% into domestic treasury bonds (T-bonds).
“It also has the flexibility to invest in other Shariah compliant products after the Shariah committee’s approval,” explained the fintech start-up.
The inclusion of T-bonds is like driven by the dearth of Shariah compliant investment instruments in Egypt. The domestic Sukuk market is nascent, having only welcomed a handful of offerings from corporates while the government has repeatedly delayed its foray into the Islamic capital market. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait recently announced that the government expects to finally make its long-awaited sovereign Sukuk debut before the end of the current fiscal year.
A conventional mobile-first equities trading platform, Thndr – founded late 2020 by Ahmad Hammouda and Seif Amr – is one of the most prominent fintech start-ups in Egypt having brought the US success story Robinhood’s model to North Africa. Earlier this year, Thndr secured a US$20 million series A round which it will use to aid its MENA expansion.