NAMAL launches Sharia compliant Unit Trust


National Asset Management Limited (NAMAL) announced the launch of the NAMAL Sharia Fund, a Sharia compliant Unit Trust. The NAMAL Sharia Fund offers investors an opportunity to invest in a diversified portfolio of Sharia compliant equities listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange with the objective of maximising medium to long term returns. The Initial Public Offering (IPO) will commence today (17th December 2012).

NAMAL managed the first Sharia compliant Unit Trust in Sri Lanka – the NAMAL Amana Equity Fund - a five year close ended Unit Trust from 2007 to 2012. In the past year the Fund generated 5.60% in returns compared to the ASPI which declined by 11.22%. The Fund generated a 99% return to investors during the period 2007-2012.

Dar Al Sharia Legal and Financial Consultancy LLC (DAS), Dubai is the Sharia Services Consultant to the Fund. Dar Al Sharia is a subsidiary of Dubai Islamic Bank, the oldest and one of the largest Islamic Banks of the world and specializes in Sharia-compliant structuring and documentation for all types of Sukuk, Syndication and Funds. Avancka Herat, Executive Director at NAMAL said "Investors will benefit from investment management expertise of NAMAL and Sharia compliance expertise of Dar Al Sharia and an internationally renowned Sharia Supervisory Council"

Chairman Sharia Board, NAMAL Sharia Fund, Dr. Hussain Hamed Hassan who is also Chairman Sharia Board Dubai Islamic Bank Group and the Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia and sits on around 40 other Sharia Boards across the globe besides being the M.D. of Dar Al Sharia. Dr. Hassan said "the Fund will open doors for direct access to the equities market, in general for the ethical investor and in particular for the Sharia compliant investor".

DAS CEO Sohail Zubairi said "Sri Lanka is a new but important and special market for us and it was a part of our global strategy. NAMAL is a true professional organization and we will be looking forward to working with them on other products as well."

Khurram Abdullah, Head of Capital Markets, DAS, who was in-charge of this venture added "we wanted to bring the Sri Lankan market into global mainstream Islamic asset management by sharing our knowhow and expertise in establishing a truly Sharia compliant equity fund with highest standards of compliance which are in line with the AAOIFI standards".

NAMAL is the pioneer Unit Trust Management Company in Sri Lanka, established in 1991, with a 20 year track record of successfully investing in the Sri Lankan equity and debt markets. NAMAL currently operates eight Unit Trusts including the flagship National Equity Fund and the only listed Unit Trust. NAMAL is a subsidiary of Union Bank of Colombo PLC in association with DFCC Bank PLC and Ennid Capital (Pvt) Ltd, an investment arm of BP De Silva Holdings.

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