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Mon 29 Oct 2007 02:05 AM

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Qatar Islamic launches $550mn funds

Two investment funds will invest in Qatari stocks complying with Islamic law, bank says.

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) is launching two investment funds worth a total of 2 billion riyals ($549.7 million) that will invest in Qatari stocks complying with Islamic law, the firm said on Sunday.

Al Sanabel fund A will be for Qataris and Al Sanabel fund B will be for foreigners, QIB said in a statement on the Doha bourse Web-site, adding that minimum subscription is 50,000 riyals.

Qatar's bourse is the fourth largest among Gulf Arab states.

Demand from Muslims for investments that comply with their beliefs has boomed, underpinned by a flood of petrodollars from a quadrupling in oil prices since 2001.

Western and Asian institutions seeking exposure to booming Gulf economies has also boosted demand.

Islamic law prohibits lending on interest, which it equates with usury, as well as investments in some business sectors, such as alcohol and pornography.

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