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Monday, 4 June 2007

Bahrain-based Al Amin Bank unveils Kotak Shariah Fund

Bahrain Trubune, 4 June 2007
Bahrain-based Al Amin Bank will launch a new investment fund, Kotak Shariah Fund (KSF) or Kotak Indian Islamic Fund (KIIF). KSF is registered in Mauritius and managed by Kotak Mahindra (UK). KM-UK is a subsidiary of Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) which has over $5.2 billion worth of assets under management and employs more than 10,000 staff and had successful joint ventures with Goldman Sachs in the past in brokerage and investment banking businesses in India. KMB bought out Goldman Sachs' stake in both the joint ventures last year.The KIIF comprises all class A shares issued in KSF. The fund is open-ended, allowing investors to redeem their investments on any business day. The fund will be solely investing in the Indian stock market under the principles of Shariah law as advised by the fund's Shariah advisory board which benefits from the guidance of Dr. Abdul Sattar Abu Ghoda and Shaikh Yusuf Talal de Lorenzo.
It is also worth mentioning that KIIF has been approved by the Unified Shariah Board of Al Baraka in Jeddah. The bank in a statement said: "We will distribute this very unique and novel investment through its group network and to investors internationally. A pre-launch gathering takes place today in Dubai marking the official launch. General manager and board member of Al Amin, Mohammed Isa Al Mutaweh said he was "very proud of the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with one of the most renowned financial groups of India in providing the opportunity to investors of tapping into one of Asia's strongest economies.
In order to appreciate the might of the Indian economy you have to understand it, and the only way to understand it is to penetrate through the guidance of key players such as KMB."Paul Parambi, head, international business, Kotak group, said: "Indian equity indices have risen around 67 per cent (sensex) in the past year on the back of strong domestic growth story, improving global competitiveness of Indian companies and robust foreign institutional inflows to India. We have seen a surge in interest in India among institutions and ultra-high-net-worth investors in the Middle Eastern region."However, from past experience we realised that many investors in the region require investment products structured around Shariah principles. KIIF is our endeavour to reach out to such investors. We are proud to be the one of the first Indian financial-service majors to create a Shariah fund for India and equally proud to partner with Al Amin and Albaraka Banking Group which are pioneers in Islamic investments globally.

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