Kuwait Firm Plans $100 Million Islamic Hedge Fund

Oct 22 2007 | 7:20am ET

A Kuwaiti money manager is prepping a $100 million Shariah-compliant hedge fund product, hoping to take advantage of the growing demand for investment products that comply with Islamic law. However, the fund plans to use a limited amount of short-selling, which some argue contravene Islamic bans on lending on interest and gambling.

Ryada Capital Investment Company, the firm behind the fund, told Reuters that there is huge liquidity in the region and strong demand for this type of product. It rejects the notion that short-selling goes against Shariah law.

“We have it there just in case we need it,” Ryada CEO Jamal al-Saeed told the news agency. “Speculation happens. It’s human nature. But it’s not the essence of the fund.”

The fund, which boats a $1 million minimum subscription, will make mostly low-risk investments, Saeed said. The firm hopes to triple the fund’s assets within three years.

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