Islamic Finance

Malaysia’s BIMB Investment launches Shariah-ESG robo-advisor

BIMB Investment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank Islam Malaysia, today launched a robo-intelligence investing platform focused on sustainable and Shariah-ESG assets.

BEST Invest will give investors access to a suite of BIMB Investment’s Shariah-ESG unit trust funds across asset classes including global equities, Asia Pacific equities, sukuk, and money market, the company said in a statement on Wednesday (Apr 15).

“The underlying funds in BEST Invest app are Shariah-ESG compliant. We are an UNPRI signatory and have been focusing on ESG investing since 2015. We are currently managing more than 1 billion ringgit of ESG investment assets,” said CEO Najmuddin Mohd Lutfi.

BIMB Investment became an official signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) in July last year. At the time, the company’s CEO said it had integrated more than 250 ESG metrics in its investment process since 2015.

BIMB Investment’s new robo-advisor will allow users to either start investing for themselves or enable the system to identify and select the best investment methods, suitable funds and investment amount based on each person’s risk profile.

Investments start at 10 ringgit with a zero sales charge, said BIMB Investment.

Shariah-compliant wealth and investment robo-advisory is a nascent sector. The best-known platform is Wahed Invest that launched in the USA in 2017 and in 2018 secured approval from the Financial Conduct Authority to operate in the UK. It rolled out globally in 2019. Wahed Invest was also the first Shariah-compliant robo-advisory to be given a license by Malaysia’s Securities Commission, following non-Islamic platforms StashAway and GAX MD.

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