South African Islamic institutions proved that the country punches far above its weight when it received a total of 10 awards at the 2019 Global Islamic Finance Awards. The prestigious event was held at the Westin hotel in Cape Town last night. Leading the charge was the Oasis Group, which nabbed three awards. The Oasis Crescent Equity Fund which recently reached its 21st Anniversary milestone was given the award for the Best Islamic Fund over a 20 year period for having delivered over 17% on an annualised basis since its inception in 1998.
Oasis Global Management Company (Ireland) was named Best Islamic Fund Manager for 2019 while the Oasis brand was celebrated as a recipient of the Advocacy Award for its pioneering work in establishing and setting up the framework for Islamic Investment and Finance in South Africa.
An elated Oasis CEO Adam Ebrahim said to receive these accolades and be celebrated in South Africa is an honour for the company.
“The fact that the Oasis Crescent Equity Fund continues to be recognised 21 years since its launch is a real feather in our cap and a testament to how well-constructed this fund is to deliver value to its investors. Oasis flagship fund really set the basis for Islamic investment and finance in this country and the Award we received for the Advocacy of Islamic Finance and Investment really speaks to this,” he said.
“When we started, South Africa had no real Islamic savings or brand that offered Islamic products to Muslims and ethically conscious investors. We set about cultivating the required laws that would allow for such products and liaised with the central bank, various industry bodies, as well as the respective fiscal and financial services authorities to lobby for the introduction of Islamic investment products. ”
FNB Islamic Banking received the Best Islamic Banking Window 2019 award and the company’s Shaheen Suliman was voted Best Upcoming Personality in Global Islamic Finance 2019.
Also winning awards were Kagiso Asset Management, Old Mutual Al Baraka investment fund, Bryte Takaful and Sentio, an investment technology award.
“Achieving this highly coveted and most respected accolade in Islamic Banking in a highly competitive environment, for the third consecutive year, is an honour that we don’t take lightly. This is a testament to our commitment to deliver on our Islamic principles and core values of our business which are centred around help,” said CEO of FNB Islamic Banking Amman Muhammad.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be recognised as the best upcoming personality in Global Islamic Finance. I receive this accolade with pride and commit to adding more value to our customers and contributing to the growth of the Islamic Banking industry in South Africa,” added Suliman.
President Cyril Ramaphosa was bestowed with a GIFA Laureate award for levelling the playing fields in South Africa for Islamic finance. Public Enterprises minister collected the award on his behalf and delivered a short speech. More than 20 countries attended the glittering event, which took place in Africa for the first time.
Founded in 2011, GIFA celebrates excellence and best practices in Islamic finance across various categories ranging from industry players to service providers, Shari’ah scholars and academicians in various sectors within the Islamic finance industry, with ultimate objectives of promoting social responsibility, adherence to Shari’ah authenticity and commitment to Islamic banking and finance.
“Over the years, we have seen new levels of innovation and authenticity in the products and services of our winners. These reflect the growing diversity and strength of the Islamic financial services industry,” said the chairman of the GIFA Awards Committee and CEO of Edbiz Corporation, Dr Sofiza Azmi.