Islamic Finance

Integrated Saudi financial system to diversify investment tools in the awqaf sector

Published 01 Dec,2020 via Asharq Alawsat (English Edition) - Recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on investment in Saudi Arabia’s Awqaf (Islamic endowments) has been detected after recording a sharp 20% decline in Q1 2020.

Real-estate comprises over 70% of the distribution of endowment portfolios in the Kingdom, experts in the Awqaf field revealed as the General Authority for Awqaf unveiled a number of initiatives and innovative products that are expected to overhaul the sector’s concept in Saudi Arabia.

“The Authority is working on building an integrated financial system that is supported by regulatory policies that grow investments and provide secure financial tools in a manner that is consistent with development needs. They will also unlock new areas and opportunities that imitate the best global, regional, and local practices,” Governor of the General Authority for Awqaf Emad Al-Kharashi told an audience at a virtual forum organized by Asharqia Chamber.

The meeting focused on the most prominent challenges and practices in the Awqaf investment sector. Attendees reviewed the standing of the sector and its activation as a barometer for Awqaf’s efficiency.

Kharashi also revealed that Awqaf-linked banks will adopt qualitative programs, positively influencing the economic and social value of endowments. This process will go hand in hand with implementing modern concepts.

“The field of Awqaf investments witnessed a remarkable improvement in performance and efficiency levels during the past years, before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Awqaf Investment Company CEO Haitham Al-Fayez.

The CEO explained that this improvement resulted in a significant index increase of 20.1% in 2019.

Fayez, however, noted that a 20.2% decrease was registered at the beginning of 2020.

The target performance index has also decreased by 12.88%.

Among the initiatives launched to mitigate the damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic was the General Authority for Awqaf founding its very own community fund in cooperation with the Human Resources and Social Development Ministry and other funds, associations, donors, and companies.

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