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Mon 1 Jan 2007 12:00 AM

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DWS investments introduces new Shariah compliant mutual funds

Islamic funds to target growth in precious metals and Asian markets for retail and institutional investors

Deutsche Bank, through its global mutual fund arm DWS Investments, has announced details of its first Shariah compliant mutual funds.

A specialist fund range, DWS Noor Islamic Funds, has been developed to meet the specific needs of Islamic investors. The range will initially be offered to retail and institutional investors in the UAE and Bahrain, with plans to expand the offering to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Asia and Europe in 2007.

There are five funds, including the DWS Noor Precious Metal Securities Fund, which is believed to be the first Shariah compliant fund to invest in gold, platinum, silver and other precious metals securities and provides a unique avenue for portfolio diversification and absolute returns. DWS has also launched the DWS Noor Global Select Equity Fund, which will provide access to equity opportunities around the world through a concentrated stock portfolio, and three equity funds that will invest in China, Japan, and the Asia Pacific region.

“With DWS Noor Islamic Funds, our Islamic clients can rely on a strictly Shariah compliant framework while benefiting from attractive international investment opportunities usually only available as conventional mutual fund products,” said Scott Jaffray, chief investment officer for DWS Investments in MENA, and architect of the DWS Noor Islamic Funds range.

“DWS Investments is today among the top 10 asset managers globally, with steady growth anticipated in key emerging regions such as the Middle East and Asia. We aim to continually expand the DWS Noor offering into further asset classes and investment styles, delivering a range of Islamic products with the same breadth and depth as our conventional mutual fund range.”

The funds are advised by Dar Al Istithmar, whose board comprises five leading Shariah scholars: Dr Hussain Hamed Hassan, Dr Ali AlQaradaghi, Dr Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah, Dr Mohamed Elgari and Dr Mohamed Daud Bakar. Dar Al Istithmar is a Shariah advisory service created through a joint venture between Deutsche Bank, the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and investment adviser Russell Wood.

The funds’ legal documents, structure and investment process will be kept entirely separate from Deutsche Bank’s conventional fund business.

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