Sharia-compliant unit trust fund is launched

First Community Bank (FCB) has introduced an Islamic-compliant unit trust underlining the growing list of Islamic products targeting the Muslim market.
The firm has received approval from the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to rollout the fund, which will make selective investments in equities, government bonds and real estate options that are Sharia-compliant.

SAIB BNP PARIBAS Asset Management Offers New Sukuk Fund

SAIB Sukuk Fund will be accepting subscriptions from investors starting February 1 2011. The Fund is an openended public Fund under the supervision of the Capital Market Authority of Saudi Arabia. The minimum amosaunt to subscribe into the fund is SAR 100,000 and will provide twice-monthly liquidity.
SAIB BNP Paribas Asset Management Co. Ltd. is one of the premier Asset Management firm operating as a Joint venture between the Saudi Investment Bank and BNP Paribas Investment Partners, a preeminent global financial institution.

NEST to offer Sharia global equity fund

NEST has confirmed it will offer investors access to a global equity Sharia-compliant fund.
The mandate to run the brief - posted on the official European Union tender website today - said the successful bidder will have their products approved by a board of Sharia scholars. The fund will not include any asset classes forbidden under Sharia law - for example, conventional bonds.

'Social' Funds Embrace Emerging Markets

With the launch of its "socially responsible investment" fund, MMA Praxis Mutual Funds is the latest firm seeking to piggyback on the demand for emerging-market securities from investors.
But socially responsible funds tend to have strict criteria that are incompatible with many emerging markets. In addition, just finding out whether companies match social screens is a major challenge, as companies in developing economies typically provide less disclosure about their finances, let lone other practices.

Kuwait Strategia Plans Islamic Invest Fund; Hikes Cap -Report

Kuwait's Strategia Investment Company has received the approval of the ministry of commerce and industry to launch an Islamic investment fund with a capital ranging between 5 million Kuwaiti dinars ($17.7 million) and KWD50 million.
This fund will invest in the shares of shariah-compliant companies listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange and on other bourses in the Gulf Cooperation Council states.

Financial engineers find ways to bridge the funding gap

One of the more bad aspects of the credit crunch is that after years of easy credit banks are unable, or unwilling, to lend to businesses at the point in the economic cycle where private sector growth is desperately wanted. The lack of bank lending is exacerbated by the UK government’s measures, which will put more pressure on private sector firms struggling for a financial breathing space.
While much of this activity is independent of the government, ministers recognise the importance of small to medium-sized enterprises and start-ups, particularly in strategically important areas. As a result, the government is the £150m cornerstone investor in the UK Innovation Investment Fund.

Barwa Real Estate, Gazprombank announce closing of Russia fund

Barwa Real Estate Company QSC and Gazprombank OJSC announced yesterday the first closing of the Shariah compliant, Barwa Gazprombank Russia Real Estate Fund. The Fund represents the first collaboration between Barwa and Gazprombank and the two companies will seed the Fund with $75m capital each.
The First Investor QSCC (TFI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barwa Bank, will contribute $2m into the Fund.

Nakheel Gets Dubai Support Fund Help To Repay Sukuk Due Jan 16

Nakheel, the real-estate unit of Dubai government-owned conglomerate Dubai World, said the Dubai Financial Support Fund has given it enough money to repay its $750 million Islamic bond, or Sukuk, that matures on Jan. 16.

Family firms hit by tight bank funding

Family-related companies in the UAE and other Gulf oil producers reeled under a tight funding environment in 2010 as a result of strict bank lending policies triggered by the 2008 global fiscal distress and regional debt defaults.
Some believe that the default problems in the region has created what they described as a confidence crisis between banks and family entities.

Saudi Hollandi Capital launches five new global investment funds for early 2011

Saudi Hollandi Capital has introduced five new investment funds to investors in the Saudi market, bringing the total number of investment funds to 22, including 10 Islamic Sharia-compliant funds.
These investments represent an attempt to maximize total return to investors at current growth rates achieved by the economies of these markets.

Investment Fund Launches To Buy Low Cost Dubai Distressed Real Estate

The construction and real estate sectors in Dubai have seen a decrease of almost 5%.
Opportunistic investment funds see a 6 month window to capitalize on Dubai's growing inventory of distressed commercial and residential property, often sold below original purchase price.
The property and construction sectors are the worst hit in the emirate by the global economic downturn.

Alinma Investment launches new funds

Alinma Investment has announced the launch of official public operations with licenses to engage in all investment related activities including dealing, managing, arranging, advisory and custody services.
Abdul-mohsen Al-Fares, chairman of the board of directors of Alinma Investment, said that time was right for launching the business and the price-to-earnings ratios of local and international companies were suitable for investment.

CIMB unit eyes US$100mil from Dublin funds

CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd (CPIAM) is targeting about US$100mil in sales for its Dublin domiciled collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) III umbrella syariah funds by the end of next year.
These funds will act as a gateway for the company to launch more funds worldwide.
The three funds are Islamic Global Emerging Markets Fund, Islamic Asia Pacific ex-Japan Fund and Islamic Asean Equity Fund.

Kuwait’s KFH liquidates Turkey real estate fund

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) reported a net profit of $10m following the liquidation of a real estate fund targeting the Turkish market.
The liquidation process seem to come with a return on investment of 14 percent.

QInvest and Ambit launch largest Shari’ah-compliant Indian fund

QInvest, in collaboration with India’s Ambit, have announced the launch of the Ambit QInvest India Fund, an open ended Shari’ah-compliant Indian Equities Fund.
The fund offers an entry point for investors to leverage the potential for long term price appreciation underpinned by strong growth drivers in the Indian market.

First Sharia compliant movie fund raises $40m

In just four weeks, the world’s first Sharia-compliant movie fund has reached more than $40m.
The Black Knight is expected to reach $85-90m by April, half of which will come from UAE investors.
The movie, which is scheduled to be filmed in Morocco and could also include scenes shot in the UAE, is the first instalment in a trilogy of films and will be released in 2012.

Islamic Crescent Funds Management granted AFSL

Shariah-compliant funds manager, Crescent Funds Management, has been granted an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL).
Tax adviser and auditor was appointed Ernst & Young and custodian, JP Morgan.

Guernsey as a Jurisdiction for Establishing Middle East and Islamic Funds

In recent years Guernsey has seen an increase in Shariah-compliant investment funds.
Guernsey has become an attractive jurisdiction for Middle East and Islamic investment business because of:
a.) Regulation - Guernsey is a well-regulated jurisdiction and does not offer unregulated funds structures, which means that it generally one of the best regarded jurisdictions for governance;
b.) Service providers - Guernsey has high quality service providers, who are able to provide legal, accounting, valuation, registrar, company secretarial and audit services for the structuring, launch and ongoing administration of funds with a Middle East and/or Islamic focus.
c.) Structural flexibility - Guernsey funds structures range from companies (including protected cell companies) to unit trusts and limited partnerships, providing a number of options for Middle East and Islamic clients to structure their product to suit its needs and to take advantage of efficiencies, such as those provided in respect of protected cell companies

Muslim Nations Plan Stock Index Next Year to Spur Trade

The Organization of the Islamic Conference based in Jeddah hired Standard & Poor’s to start an index of about 50 of the most-traded stocks in the first quarter of 2011.
The index, which will track listed equities that comply with Islam’s ban on alcohol, gaming and tobacco, aims to target exchange-traded funds.

Royal London broadens its fund range

Royal London 360° has increased the fund range of three of its regular premium products to give clients more choice.
Nine fund management groups and seven sectors have also been added across the three ranges. The company has added Asian bond funds, three new currency/money market funds, four new Islamic funds, a Russian fund and one within the Equity Middle East and North Africa sector.

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