Kuwait Finance House to Start Dollar Sukuk Fund as Yields Climb

Kuwait Finance House KSC will start a $100 million sukuk fund as a slump in global bond markets offers a chance to invest at higher yields, the chief executive of its Malaysian asset-management unit said.

The fund will buy investment-grade sovereign and corporate dollar notes that comply with Islam’s ban on interest from the Middle East, Indonesia and Malaysia, KFH Asset Management Sdn. Chief Executive Officer Mushthaq Ahmad Ibrahim said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur today. It will probably start purchasing debt this month, he said.

The average yield on Shariah-compliant notes touched 4.17 percent on June 25, the highest since May 2011, the HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai US Dollar Sukuk Index shows, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said June 19 the central bank may taper its monthly debt purchases this year and end them in 2014. Global debt funds recorded an unprecedented $23.3 billion in outflows for the week through June 26, according to a June 28 report from Citigroup Inc., which cited data from EPFR Global.

“If you’re new money, you can start building a portfolio around slightly better yields,” Mushthaq said. “The fixed-income market bubble, to some extent, has burst.”

The fund will be managed by KFH Asset Management and KFH’s unit based in Labuan, Malaysia’s offshore financial center, according to Mushthaq.

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