Deutsche Bank has launched five mutual funds that comply with traditional Islamic law, or Shari’a, in response to what it said was a growing demand for Islamic investment products. Marketed as DWS Noor Islamic Funds, Deutsche Bank says they are the first to be Shari`a compliant and excludes investments in alcohol, gambling, or companies with large amounts of debt. “With DWS Noor Islamic Funds, our Islamic clients can rely on a strictly Shari`a-compliant framework while benefiting from attractive international investment opportunities usually only available as conventional mutual fund products,” Scott Jaffray, DWS’s chief investment officer for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.
Additionally, the funds are specialized due to the use of Dar Al Istithmar, a Shari`a advisory service created through a joint venture between Deutsche Bank, the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, and investment advisor Russell Wood, and whose Shari`a Board consists of five of the world’s leading Shari`a scholars. The DWS Noor Islamic Funds will be offered now to investors in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, with plans to make them available in other countries in the region, Asia, and Europe next year.