Our Ethical Mandate
Our investment products, AmanahNZ and Amanah KiwiSaver Plan, apply an Ethical Mandate which is defined in their respective Trust Deeds and Statements of Investment Policy and Objectives.
The Ethical Mandate states the types of investing activities allowed and the ethical screening criteria applied in the selection and monitoring of investments.
We believe that applying an Ethical Mandate to our investing approach provides transparency for our investors, and allows our investors to take responsibility for how their investing affects society.
Our Ethical Mandate prohibits investment in companies that source significant income (defined as more than 5% of their total income) from the following business activities:
- Adult entertainment
- Dealing in interest
We also apply the following investment principles:
- Prohibition of interest: The use of money for the purpose of making money is expressly forbidden. Wealth must be generated from legitimate trade and asset-based investment. Any cash held by our investment products are held in interest-free bank accounts.
- Prohibition of excessive uncertainty/speculation and gambling: These principles require investments to have social and ethical benefit to wider society. They prohibit investments which would involve excessive uncertainty or risk such as speculative investment, gambling and day trading.
These restrictions mean that our investment products may not leverage (borrow against) investor funds, or invest in derivatives and other complex, high-risk financial products. Additionally, hedging instruments cannot be used to manage currency risk as they are derivatives and therefore prohibited by the Ethical Mandate.
Our Ethical Mandate complies with the investment standards set by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). The AAOIFI standards set specific limits relating to interest and debt which all our investments must comply with. In application to companies, we may not invest in a company whose interest-bearing debt is greater than 30%, whose interest-bearing income is greater than 30% or those which hold more than 67% of total assets in cash and cash equivalents.
We believe that the principles applied by the AAOIFI standards promote investments which seek to consider both financial return and social good. We believe that applying our Ethical Mandate mitigates investment risk by applying strict rules to the balance sheet analysis of our investments.
We believe our investment products advance a strong ethical statement and make it an appropriate investment vehicle not only for persons who abide by similar religious principles, but also for those who ethically value these investment ideals.
The Amanah Ethical Advisory Board is responsible for reviewing the Ethical Mandate compliance of AmanahNZ and its investments. The Advisory Board reviews compliance with the Ethical Mandate but does not undertake investment selection. The current members of the Advisory Board can be viewed here.
Purification is the method used to cleanse any investment income that may have been generated by a corporation from non-permissible activities (for example, pork or alcohol). With the assistance of financial screening service IdealRatings®, we calculate the required purification for each investment in AmanahNZ, which is then accumulated and ‘purified’ by a donation to charity (paid quarterly). The amount of purification varies between investments and is based on the portion of the corporation’s income that is derived from non-permissible sources.
Amanah KiwiSaver Plan invests in "purified" units of AmanahNZ. Amanah KiwiSaver Plan also receives interest payments from Inland Revenue for member contributions. This interested is isolated from other investment monies and is not invested. We are unable to “purify” this interest immediately by a donation to charity, as this would be in breach of the KiwiSaver Rules on withdrawals. Instead this interest is isolated from other contributions and scheme members who wish to strictly comply with the tenets of the Islamic faith are notified of the interest amounts on withdrawal to allow them to make a donation to charity.