Nafa to launch two Islamic mutual funds



KARACHI (May 30 2007): The National Fullerton Asset Management Limited (Nafa), following the successful launch of its three open-end mutual funds after starting its operation in Pakistan, will launch two Islamic Mutual Funds very soon. The Meezan Bank Limited, the first and the largest Islamic bank in Pakistan will provide Shariah advisory services to Nafa.

In this regard, an agreement was singed between the two organisations at a ceremony held here on Tuesday. Irfan Siddiqui, President and CEO of MBL and Dr Amjad Waheed, CEO of Nafa signed the agreement.

Dr Amjad Waheed said on this occasion that there is immense growth potential in the Islamic mutual fund industry. Nafa Islamic Funds, under MBL''s advisory and guidance, will provide excellent investment opportunities to investors for earning good halal returns on their investments. "The investment decision-making will be the responsibility of Nafa''s fund management team", he added.

He said that Nafa has already launched three open-end mutual fund ie Nafa Cash Fund, Nafa Stock Fund and Nafa Multi-Asset Fund in its first year of operation. It has become one of the leading asset management companies in the mutual fund industry of Pakistan with total asset under management of Rs 17 billion (as of May 25, 2007).

NAFA is a joint venture between National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), NIB Bank Limited and Fullerton Fund Management Company (FFMC), Singapore. A majority of NIB and FFMC are both owned by Temasek Holdings of Singapore - a $84 billion company, rated AAA by Moody''s and Standard and Poor''s.

Speaking on the occasion, Irfan Siddiqui, President & CEO of MBL said that Meezan Bank would provide its advisory services to any other company except its own subsidiaries for the first time. He said that MBL has its own Islamic Index criteria based on Sharia principles.

He said that the Meezan Bank is the largest Islamic Bank in Pakistan with 45 percent share in the total Islamic banking industry in the country. He pointed out that the Islamic Banking has 3 percent share in the total banking industry in Pakistan. He was optimistic that the share of Islamic banking would increase to 10 to 15 percent in the total banking industry in Pakistan within the next few years.

Meezan Bank Limited has a full-fledged advisory division headed by Dr Mohammad Imran Usmani. This function''s area of expertise includes product development & research, training & development, publication & advisory services in the field of Islamic Finance.

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