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Sun 15 Apr 2007 03:57 PM

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UBL launches mutual funds in UAE

United Bank Limited will offer conventional and Islamic investment opportunities in Pakistan’s fast-growing economy.

United Bank Limited (UBL), one of Pakistan's biggest banks, has today announced the launch of its mutual fund products in the UAE.

UBL Fund Managers, a wholly owned subsidiary of UBL, will offer three funds with different investment styles. United Stock Advantage Fund is an aggressive equity fund investing primarily in listed securities, United Growth and Income Fund invests primarily in fixed income securities in Pakistan and abroad, and United Composite Islamic Fund is a Shariah compliant Islamic fund investing in a mix of equities, fixed income instruments and other asset classes.

The funds will focus predominantly on securities and other investments in Pakistan and are open to all UAE residents, although they are expected to be particularly attractive to expatriate Pakistanis who want to invest in their home economy.

Each of the funds has a minimum investment of just AED1,000 (US$272), making them attractive to smaller investors, but UBL expects them to be popular with other segment as well.

Wajahat Husain, head of Middle East, UBL, said: "Globally, mutual funds have remained a preferred investment option for retail investors, high net worth individuals and institutions. Through these high quality mutual funds, the expatriate community, particularly non-resident Pakistanis, can conveniently invest in a fast-growing country like Pakistan in a tax-free investment avenue."

Mir Muhammad Ali, CEO of UBL Fund Managers, said that Pakistan's strong GDP growth, which has been above 6% in recent years, and the low price/earnings ratio of listed stocks there made it an attractive place to invest.

UBL Fund Managers currently has around $230m of assets under management. It is currently considering applying to list its funds on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX).

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