An Islamic equity fund launched by Al -Tawfeek Company for Investment Funds has closed its initial subscription after raising more than $45 million in commitments, the company said on 11 September.

A subscribed amount of more than $30 million was recorded during the period ending 31 August 1996 An additional $15 million in commitments are in the approval/documentation stage, pending finalisation,’ said a statement from Al-Tawfeek, which is part of the Dallah Albaraka group of Saudi Arabia.

‘Subscription will continue on the basis of the market value of the units since this is an open-ended fund. The initial $50 million target issued capital is expected to be achieved in the near future’. The fund, called AI-Safwa, was launched in May. A company spokesman said at the time that the aim is eventually to raise $150-200 million for the fund (MEED 3.5.96).

The fund’s investment adviser is Roll & Ross Asset Management of the US, while the US State Street Bank & Trust Company has been appointed as its custodian and administrator. Al-Tawfeek is managing the sharia compliance side of the fund, one of several Islamic investment vehicles launched in the last year.

The fund has drawn up a list of about 500 companies worldwide as investment possibilities, the criteria being that they are not involved in businesses not permitted by Islam, have leverage of less than 1 per cent of capital and interest income of less than five per cent of total income. The interest earnings on investments are paid to charity (Islamic Banking, MEED Special Report, 12:7:96).