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Eiib rasmala launches islamic trade finance fund

Nov 19 EIIB-Rasmala, a venture between London-based European Islamic Investment Bank and Dubai's Rasmala Group, has launched a sharia-compliant trade finance fund as a low-risk investment product, the firm said on Tuesday. Islamic trade finance remains a tiny part of global banking business, but it is gradually attracting interest among banks and asset managers because of the rapid growth of global trade, including in Gulf economies.

The Cayman-domiciled fund is linked to emerging market trade transactions and the firm hopes to attract $100 million into the fund over the coming year, said Eric Swats, head of asset management at EIIB-Rasmala.

The fund targets a return of 4 percent with low volatility as the firm continues to expand its sharia-compliant product range, Swats added.

Since last year, EIIB-Rasmala has launched three Islamic funds including a leasing fund and a sukuk fund seeded with $25 million of the company's own capital. Earlier this year, Kuwait-based Asiya Investments launched an Islamic trade finance fund with $20 million in seed capital, aiming to cater to small Asian manufacturers.

Germany austrian special law could put some banks at disadvantage

(Repeats with no changes to text)BERLIN, March 25 The German finance ministry is backing German banks in a dispute over failed Austrian bank Hypo Alpe Adria, with a spokesman telling Reuters on Wednesday that Berlin was worried an Austrian special law would put some banks at a disadvantage.

"We share the concerns of German lenders that the Austrian special act disadvantages certain creditors and we've made this clear to the European Commission," the ministry spokesman said.

Five German banking associations had previously written to deputy German finance minister Thomas Steffen to complain that Austrian special acts and other measures, which Austria wants to use to involve creditors in the costs of winding down Hypo, breached rules about the free movement of capital in Europe.