Funds

New Islamic ETF

US based Javelin Investment Management LLC plans to launch the JETS Dow Jones Islamic Market International Index Fund according to the Wall Street Journal on 8 January. Further details were not provided.

Dubai launches Islamic commodity hedge fund index

Reuters reported on 7 January that the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCC) and Shariah Capital launched an index tracking the performance of Islamic hedge funds investing in commodities.The index performance will be calculated and reported by Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO). The index is based on four hedge funds, part of the DSAM Kauthar Commodity Fund and investing in gold, energy, natural resources and mining. Each fund has received start capital of $50 million from the DMCC.

Crisis offsets Islamic wealth management 2008 gain

Guardian reported based on Reuters on 7 January that market volatility wiped out all of the asset gains made by the Islamic fund management industry in the year to September 2008, citing US-based research and data provider Cerulli Associates. Sharia-compliant fund managers had assets of USD 65 bn at the end of the 3rd quarter 2008, including assets managed via discretionary mandates for institutions and high net-worth individuals and mutual funds. Assets invested in Islamic-compliant mutual funds rose by 50 % while the number of such funds doubled in the three years to 2008. Islamic mutual funds alone accounted for USD 35 bn-- up from USD 23.2 bn gathered in 2005. Sukuk funds remained a rare offering. Once markets stabilise this industry can potentially expand at a rate of above 10 % a year, the report said. Saudi Arabia is currently the largest domestic market for shariah investments. Challenges named in a poll by Cerulli were named the Sharia compliance costs, convincing investors of the Sharia compliance, the discrepancy in Sharia standards and the lack of 3rd party distribution.

Report order form: http://www.cerulli.com/pdfs/2008_Shariah_Info_Packet.pdf

Islamic Commodity Investments

Devon Maylie reported on 5 January in Barron`s magazine, that commodity-focused companies and hedge funds are introducing special products that comply with Islamic law, either equity based or as direct exposure to commodities. Ian MacDonald, executive director for gold and precious metals at Dubai Multi Commodities Center is cited to claim that there are not enough effort spent on Sharia compliant commodity products so far. The DMCC is seed financing with USD 50 mn each a range of commodity oriented equity funds managed by BlackRock Capital Management, Tocqueville Asset Management, Zweig-DiMenna International Managers and Lucas Capital Management on its platform in partnership with US based Shariah Capital. London-based ETF Securities last year launched an exchange-traded fund for precious metals that is being marketed to Sharia investors. The World Gold Council is also partnering with DMCC to launch a similar product in March.

Rasmala MENA Private Equity Fund 2 announces first closing with USD 120 million

Arabianbusiness reported on 5 January the successful first closing of the Sharia compliant fund Rasmala MENA Private Equity Fund 2, with USD 120 million in commitments received. The fund is primarily focused on mid-cap opportunities in the GCC and Egypt that benefit from the region’s GDP growth.

Tamer Bazzari is Deputy CEO at Rasmala and member of the Fund’s investment committee.

Shariah compliant green fund launched

Hedge Fund Review reported on 22 December about the Falcon Fund launched by Da Vinci Invest of Zurich, aiming to invest in the carbon markets and forestry.

The fund will actively trade the carbon markets on a short-term basis and invest in forestry for the long term. Da Vinci Invest expects this strategy provide consistent value growth, diversification and an environmental benefit. Rainforest Invest, Forest Finance and Miller Forest will source opportunities in Panama, Costa Rica and Paraguay.

Only land formerly used for agricultural will be planted. No rainforest will be cut to farm the plantations. The Da Vinci Green Falcon Fund will charge a 2% management fee and a 20% incentive fee.

Da Vinci Invest, incorporated in 2004 as a UK company, is based in Zug.

Polaris Investment Trust Plans to Issue Taiwan Islam ETF

Philip Liu CENS.com reported on 2 April that it plans to roll out Islam ETF in the second quarter this year.

The firm is also in talks with Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) for licensing of its Taiwan Islam Index for use in issuing the Islam ETF in Abu Dhabi. The MSCI Taiwan Islam Index consists of 60 constituent stocks, selected from the over 120 constituent stocks of MSCI Taiwan Stock Index, whose operations conforms to the tenets of Islam.

Liu Tsung-sheng is president of Polaris Investment Trust.

Source: http://news.cens.com/cens/html/en/news/news_inner_22868.html

Arab Bank lists funds on the Cayman Island Exchange

CPI Financial reported on 22 April that Arab Bank Fund Managers (Guernsey), a subsidiary of Arab Bank lists nine investment funds on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange. The IIAB Sukuk and Murabaha MENA Fund and the IIAB MENA Feeder Fund, are Shari’ah compliant funds and are both part of International Islamic Arab Bank Protected Cell Companies (IIAB PCC). The investment adviser for these funds is AB Invest in Jordan.

All of the funds are dollar denominated and open-ended, with monthly valuation and dealing.

The Guernsey administrator for all the funds is Legis Fund Services.

Source: http://www.cpifinancial.net/v2/News.aspx?v=1&aid=203&sec=Wealth%20Manage...

"First Persia Fund" to invest in Iranian Stock Exchange

Business Intelligence reported on 14 April that the "First Persia Equity Fund", opened its second-phase of subscription and it aims to raise Euro 250 m, the fund was established in July 2007 with Euro 34 mn.

Shares listed on the Teheran Stock Exchange, TEPIX, which advanced 3.9% so far this year, trade at an average of 4 or 5 times earnings. That compares to a multiple of 15 for the MSCI GCC Countries Index, a measure of more than 140 companies in six GCC states.

Stephen Austen is the fund's Managing Director. The fund is said to have outperformed the benchmark so far.

Source: http://www.bi-me.com/main.php?c=3&cg=2&t=1&id=19192

Turkey: Shamil Bank's Real Estate Fund

Shami Bank released on 13 April the successful closure of its USD 90 mn Shamil Bosphorus Modaraba, an investment vehicle with an expected 60 % over three years focussing on residential and mixed-use real estate developments in Istanbul, and secondary homes on the Turkish coast.

The total cost of the projects targeted is approximately USD 450 mn. Shamil Bank subscribed to 10 % of the USD 90 mn.

Abdul Hakim Al Mutawa is Investment and Private Banking Head of Shamil Bank.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/index.php?option=com_pressreleases&view=d...

Emirates NBD Group launches Fund linked to the performance of Global Property

Property Report reported on 11 April that the Emirates NBD Group launches the Sharia compliant Emirates Islamic Global Property Fund, an open-ended daily dealing investment fund to provide investors with access to property globally.

The fund will be managed by Emirates Investment Services Ltd (´EIS´), the asset management arm of Emirates NBD group and a company licensed and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority. It uses an Islamic certificate that derives its returns based on the profit from a reference index linked to the value of physical commercial property and real estate globally.

EIS has partnered with New Star Asset Management to structure this product as the manager of the reference fund to which returns of the Fund will initially be linked.

Jamal Bin Ghalaita is Head of Consumer Banking and Wealth Management at Emirates NBD.

Source: http://www.property-report.com/aprarchives.php?id=1373&date=110408

Kuwait Financial Centre launches Markaz Islamic Income Fund

Kuwait Financial Centre released on 7 April the launch of Markaz Islamic Income Fund, a Sharia compliant money market fund with a variable capital of KD 5 mn to KD 50 mn. The fund is licensed and approved by the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry the Fund shall invest its money in all available financial and money market instruments within the State of Kuwait and abroad in Kuwaiti Dinars and/or other major currencies actively traded in the financial markets. The Fund investments shall include Mudaraba Sukuk, Murabaha or Wakala, and other Sharia compliant Islamic instruments.

Source: http://www.ameinfo.com/152636.html

Sharia compliant Gold Exchange Traded Fund

Peter Cooper reported on 9 April on Business 24/7 about the Sharia compliant Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and World Gold Council. The ETF will be backed by physical Gold deposited under the Almas Tower of DMCC. After approval of the regulatory body Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) a secondary market will be operated by listing the ETF on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX).

DMCC has taken a share in London-listed Shariah Capital, which is supervising the compliance. Other Gold ETFs usually used derivatives to replicate the performance of Gold.

Source: http://www.business24-7.ae/cs/article_show_mainh1_story.aspx?HeadlineID=...

Gulf Finance House: USD 10 bn Caspian Energy Hub

Gulf News reported on 11 April that Gulf Finance House aims to develop the USD 10 bn Caspian Energy Hub in collaboration with the Government of Kazakhstan and PFC Energy International and signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The project, shall be a services hub that caters to commercial, technical and human resource needs of the oil and gas industry in the Caspian region. The hub also aims to become a global technical training centre for the oil & gas industry.

Esam Janahi is chairman of Gulf Finance House, Vahan Zanoyan is CEO of PFC Energy International and both presented the concept to Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazar. Ulf Wokurka is deputy chairman of the Management Board of Kazakhstan Holding for Management of State Assets. Gani Uzbekov is deputy chairman of the Board of Sustainable Development Fund called "Kazyna".

Source: http://archive.gulfnews.com/business/Oil_and_Gas/10204695.html

Bahrain: Islamic stock market and mega bank

Bahraini and GCC investors plan to establish an Islamic stock market in Bahrain. The stock market is part of the proposed Islamic mega bank project, which is said to have received licence from Central Bank of Bahrain.

Businessman Shaikh Saleh Kamel is quoted to have said that the bank aims for a capital of USD 11 bn, of which USD 1 bn are administrative shares for the bank's strategic investors, among them Al Baraka Group, a Kuwaiti bank, Saudi Investment Bank, Islamic development Bank and Bahrain Islamic Bank.

The mega bank is supposed to launch USD 33 bn worth of investment funds in regional and international markets.

Source:
http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=212659&Sn=BUSI&IssueID=...

Responsible Investing Guidelines Include Shari'ah Law and Prohibited Nations

Northern Trust announced that it has enhanced its investment compliance monitoring capabilities for institutional asset servicing and wealth management clients globally, by expanding the range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors monitored by Northern Trust Compliance Analyst® to help clients meet responsible investing goals.

Compliance Analyst is a customizable, Web-based tool that alerts investors when portfolios are nearing or have breached established limits in a client's investment policy. In addition to corporate governance rankings and the 10 socially responsible investment restrictions currently available on Compliance Analyst, Northern Trust has extended its agreement with RiskMetrics Group to offer additional screening capabilities that cover the following issues:

Prohibited Nations according to US legislation or government, Shari'ah Law, Landmines and Cluster Bombs, Animal Testing/Welfare

For more information, visit http://www.northerntrust.com.

Source: Northern Trust, http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/080318/aqtu043.html?.v=54

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