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Saudi Islamic affairs body launches Endowment Investment Funds project

Saudi Arabia, June 11, 2018

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (GAIAE) launched its first initiative, the Endowment Investment Funds project, on Sunday, to organize, maintain, and develop endowments and manage yields.
Through this project, GAIAE aims to contribute to achieving the financial sustainability of endowment and non-profit bodies and encourage the endowments sector to meet development needs.
Ahmed bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, chairman of GAIAE and minister of labor and social development, commended the launch of the first endowment investment funds project.
GAIAE aims to improve the endowments sector in Saudi Arabia, raise awareness of the importance of endowments, and direct banks to support development.
GAIAE Gov. Imad El-Kharashi said: “The project contributes to renewing endowments’ developmental role through a creative investment endowment product that plays a part in achieving the financial sustainability of non-profit and endowment bodies, according to a complete regulatory framework.
“It also empowers the non-profit sector and enhances its developmental contributions, creates community participation opportunities, and meets the community’s economic and social development needs through investing in the funds of the Endowment Fund and using the Fund’s returns to finance the projects and programs of non-profit bodies according to the endower’s requirement.
“In addition, these funds aim to improve investment, governance, transparency, and disclosure in the Department of Endowments.”
El-Kharashi said that the funds would help raise the non-profit sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) and increase transparency in non-profit activities, based on the funds’ compliance with the requirements of the Investment Funds Regulations, issued by the Capital Market Authority.
These endowment investment funds have an unlimited duration and suspended and non-current units available to be traded by the public. Their returns are given to funds' beneficiaries according to the endower’s requirement that qualified non-profit bodies can benefit from them according to the controls and conditions set by GAIAE.
GAIAE published earlier on its website the draft instructions issued for the Funds and requested feedback from the public to work on improving these standards.
The instructions also listed the parties who will benefit from these funds, the requirements for obtaining licenses, and the mechanism of the management and structure.
GAIAE aims through its strategy— which includes more than 34 initiatives— to empower the endowments sector and improve its role in society in addition to strengthening its partnerships with various stakeholders in order to motivate the sector, address the challenges it faces, and simplify procedures.
GAIAE looks forward to being the main supporter in improving the endowments sector in Saudi Arabia and to an enhanced role in social and economic development, according to the purposes of the Islamic law and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.