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TAIB expands its Islamic funds portfolio

The Bahrain-based bank introduces three new funds for Islamic investors, including two tracker products.

Bahrain-based TAIB Bank has introduced three new Islamic investment funds, two of which it claims to be the first of their kind in the world. The new offerings are the TAIB Islamic UK Equities Index Fund, the TAIB Islamic GCC Equities Index Fund and the TAIB Islamic Currency Fund.

The bank is particularly excited about the two index funds, or 'trackers' as they are known, since few such products currently exist that are Islamically compatible.

Tracker funds contain a broad basket of stocks picked according to certain narrow criteria, such as market capitalisation. Their content usually changes little, they carry lower charges than actively managed mutual funds and they tend to rise and fall in line with the whole stock market.

However, because they are broadly based, they are not usually suitable for Islamic investors. TAIB aims to put that right with its UK stock market tracker, which will include up to 50 UK stocks that have been screened to ensure Shariah compliance. The GCC Index Fund will track up to 30 Shariah-compliant stocks listed on GCC capital markets.

"The three funds now being launched offer investors yet another channel to superior Islamic investments through TAIB Bank, since all three will be Shariah compliant in every respect," said Iqbal G. Mamdani, vice chairman and CEO of TAIB Bank.

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