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Launch of International Islamic Finance Journal from Dubai

Press Release

Today sees the launch of a new Journal on Islamic finance from dedicated Islamic finance media entity Yasaar Media.

The Journal, called So Far – the Journal of Strategic Thinking in Islamic Finance, is written and edited by members of an Islamic finance Think Tank and is modelled on traditional academic journals. The difference with So Far is that the members of the Think Tank are predominantly practitioners rather than academics.
Member of the Think Tank are drawn from the ranks of committed Islamic finance professionals around the world and range from the Gulf and the Far East to the USA and Europe.

Each issue of So Far is dedicated to a single topic of core importance to the Islamic finance industry – and the launch issue looks at the thorny issue of the problems facing the Sukuk market. Unlike many other journals So Far is distributed free in PDF format and is available from a variety of sources including Yasaar Media thus guaranteeing maximum readership and exposure.

Gulf banks seen launching sukuk funds

Several banks in the Gulf region are considering launching Islamic bond, or sukuk, funds, some likely in the first half of the year, a top fund manager said on Wednesday.

Masraf Al Rayan launches Shariah-compliant fund

Masraf Al Rayan (MAR), an Islamic bank in Qatar, has launched $1.1 billion (Dh4bn) Al Rayan GCC Fund which would be managed by Al Rayan Investment. The Shariah-compliant value fund will take a medium to long-term perspective, investing in GCC-listed equities as well as fixed-income and money-market instruments. Where possible, the fund will seek to take an activist investment approach.

Al Rajhi Capital, Arcapita announce launch of $500m real estate income fund

Al Rajhi Capital, the investment banking subsidiary of Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank, and Arcapita Bank B.S.C.(c), an international investment firm headquartered in Bahrain, announced today the launch of a $500m (SR1.875bn) fund, the ARC Real Estate Income Fund.

DSAM Kauthar Commodity Funds record industry leading growth in 2009

Highlighting the sound underlying investment strategy of its fund managers and innovative product development strategy, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCCA) announced today that its Shariah-compliant Dubai Shariah Asset Management (DSAM) Kauthar Commodity Funds recorded industry leading gains in the 12 months ending December 31, 2009. The DSAM Kauthar Commodity Fund (DKCF), an equally-weighted fund-of-funds comprised of four single-strategy, commodity-focused funds that invest exclusively in Shariah-compliant long/short equity hedge funds on the Al Safi Trust platform, was up 41 per cent at the end of last year. During the same period, DKCF managers returned roughly double the average return of their equity and commodity benchmarks. The fund-of-funds total assets under management stood at US$250.1 million as of December 31, 2009.

IdealRatings service empower and enable Khalijia Invest’s portfolio Managers

Press Release

San Francisco, USA-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Feb., 15th, 2010 – Khalijia Invest, a leading global Shari’ah compliant investment firm chaired by HH Prince Sultan Bin Mohammad bin Saud Al Kabeer and regulated by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) today announced that it has selected IdealRatings Inc., a global Shari’ah compliant fund management service provider to take full advantage of IdealRatings’ universe screening and Shari’ah compliant fund management service.

Khalijia Invest needed a robust, fully integrated Shari’ah compliant fund management service to streamline it Shari’ah funds investment process and analysis, and turned to IdealRatings for its integrated Shari’ah funds service capabilities.

IdealRatings enable portfolio managers to maximize Alpha through a detailed Shari’ah compliant universe research for more than 40,000+ equities in 100+ countries, which results in more than 12,000 + compliant equities. Dhafer Salih Alqahtani, EVP & Deputy CEO of Khalijia Invest asserted that “IdealRatings increase our efficiency and empower our portfolio managers to concentrate on generating more Alpha for our Investors”

Sharia-Compliant Hedge Fund Launched in USA

Palisades Park Capital started a multi-strategy hedge fund in November. Justin Doff and Omar Haroon manage the fund. The fund is a computer-based long-short equity strategy.

Update 12.2.2010: Palisades Park Capital informed IslamicFinance.de that the vehicle has been closed and new subscriptions can no longer be done.

Templeton May Set Up Shariah-Compliant Equity Fund

Mark Mobius, who oversees $33 billion in emerging-market securities as chairman of Templeton Asset Management Ltd., said he’s looking into setting up a Malaysia-based stock fund that’s compliant with Islamic law.

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Calling Islamic financial institutions to become member of the United Nations Finance Initiative

IslamicFinance.de is calling Islamic financial institutions to become member of the UNEP Finance Inititiave to learn and contribute to international best practice in ethical and faith based finance:

"UNEP FI is a global partnership between UNEP and the financial sector. Over 180 institutions, including banks, insurers and fund managers, work with UNEP to understand the impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance."

membership information package:
http://www.unepfi.org/fileadmin/forms/MembershipInformationPack.pdf

SFS Cyprus, Kuwait Finance House launch $150million shipping investment fund

Sharelink Financial Services Group (SFS) and Kuwait Finance House Asset Management Sdn Bhd (KFHAM) have launched a shipping venture that aims to raise 150 million dollars of investment for modern vessels.

Faisal bank seeks extra client cash-sources

Geneva-based Faisal Private Bank has warned it could face foreclosure on parts of its real estate portfolio unless investors stump up cash to keep lenders at bay, documents seen by Reuters show.

Dubai market stumbles for the second consecutive session

Dubai's index DFM faltered for the second session in three, with investors showing little enthusiasm for risking more money in a highly volatile market until fresh news on Dubai World's restructuring emerges.

Dow Jones Indexes Wins 18th Award for Its Islamic Market Index Series

Dow Jones Indexes, a leading global index provider, on December 16 announced that it has been named “Best Index Provider Shari’ah compliant Indexes” by Dubai-based Islamic Business & Finance magazine.

Shari’ah-compliant Structured Trade Finance Fund to be launched by Gatehouse Bank and DDCAP

Gatehouse Bank will launch a Shari’ah-compliant Structured Trade Finance Fund in early 2010. Parnter is the wholesale Islamic market intermediary company DDCAP. The aim of the fund is to invest capital in structured trade finance transactions.

Islamic Finance in North America

Yasaar media published a new report called Islamic Finance in North America 2009 for free download, which is co-published by Codexa Capital, UM Financial Group, King & Spalding, and Doha Islamic.

According to the report Islamic finance in North America has developed along two quite separate paths:

  • The first path focuses on retail Islamic finance and centres mostly on home financing products and credit cards.
  • The second path involves a number of high profile GCC-based Islamic investment banks and their deployment of hundreds of millions of dollars in private equity and real estate developments in North America.

Read the full report for free at the link below.

BNP Paribas aims to raise USD 300 mn for Private Equity Fund

French bank BNP Paribas may raise as much as USD 300 mn for a Gulf-based private equity fund, according to a Reuters report. The fund has been set up to tap into opportunities arising from the financial crisis.

Tharawat to raise USD 100 mn in 2009 for sukuk fund

Bahrain-based Islamic investment house Tharawat said it plans to raise USD 100 million by year-end for a sukuk fund it recently launched to focus on bargains on the secondary market.

Tharawat was established in July 2008 with a paid-up capital of $33 million.

NBAD plans first ETF

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) plans to launch the Middle East’s first exchange-traded fund to try to attract more international investors. The fund, known as an ETF, will be listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) in two months, a senior NBAD official said. It will be licensed by a leading global index provider and will track some of the Gulf’s 50 biggest stocks, said Giyas Gokkent, NBAD’s co-head of asset management and chief economist.

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