Eiib rasmala launches islamic trade finance fund

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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.