The International Investor (TII) of Kuwait launched in October 1995 its $10 million ‘Ibn Majid’ emerging markets fund, which was developed in partnership with Swiss Bank Corporation. TII, a small but energetic Kuwaiti company, also launched a domestic real estate trading fund in partnership with the emirate’s sole Islamic commercial bank, Kuwait Finance House.

Al-Tawfeek Company for Investment Funds, part of the Saudi Dallah Albaraka Group, set up an Islamic equity fund called ‘Al-Safwa’ which it hopes will raise $150 million-200 million.

London-based merchant bank Robert Fleming launched its ‘Oasis’ Islamic equity fund in February, following up with a UK launch in May aimed at British Muslims. Oasis is an umbrella fund which will invest in open-ended subfunds targeting equities around the world. By mid-May it had raised about $7 million.

Kleinwort Benson, another Western merchant bank, launched a commodity fund in May in partnership with Bahrainbased Islamic Investment Company of the Gulf (IICG). The ‘Al-Meezan’ fund was launched in May. Kleinwort Benson hopes it will raise at least $25 million from the Gulf and South-East Asia.

Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain, which launched two Islamic investment vehicles to operate in the Gulf at the end of last year, plans to launch a global equity fund in September.