Daman unveils 1st Shariah-compliant mutual fund


Dubai, Daman Investments PSC, a leading UAE based fund manager announced the launch of its Daman Islamic Fund, an open-ended, Shari'ah compliant mutual fund that will focus on the UAE equities markets.The offer period will begin on May 8, and end May 31, 2007.

The Daman Second Emirates Fund was launched in February. Launching two new products in such a short time when the market has not fully recovered may seem an unusual move, said Daman's managing director, Shehab Gargash.

Speaking to the press he said he was confident that the timing for the launch of the fund "was absolutely right", and was "very encouraged" about the outlook for 2008. "2007 is a test case to see whether the positive momentum for the market can be sustained", he said.

Despite the recent volatility of UAE stocks, "there is a clear sign of consolidation", he added, explaining that volatility means the market is becoming deeper as a result of volume trading. Research analyst, Roshan Saldanha added: "Volumes have risen helping overall market development."

Although there are still retail investors looking for a quick profit, an increasing number of institutional investors are trading and, in the long-term, these investors will take over, said Gargash.

In a Press statement he also commented: "On the first day of trading this week, the market moved rapidly up with a clear 2.2% point gain on the index in a broad based rally. At the beginning of this year, we said that the current market conditions are ripe for deriving higher value and we believe that such broad based rallies are positive for the market sentiment and a sign of a recovery path. For early movers, this is absolutely the right time to come back to the UAE equities markets."

The new Daman Islamic fund's minimum subscription amount is set at AED 200,000. In parallel with the Daman Second Emirates Fund, The Daman Islamic fund will target quarterly dividend payouts and will be open to all nationalities as well as non-UAE residents.