Islamic Banking

UTI International Grows GCC Network With New Shariah Fund

Vanessa Doctor Asia Editor 28 February 2010

UTI International Grows GCC Network With New Shariah Fund

UTI International is looking to launch another shariah-compliant fund in the UAE and the Gulf after its Kuwait-based offshore shariah fund generated strong interest from investors in the Middle East, Emirates Business reports.

In an interview with Tarun Ghulati, the chief executive officer of UTI International, the news service said that the new fund - which will be launched over the next three months - will target institutional and retail investors.
"We are looking for a strategic partner and have formalised the structure," Mr Ghulati was quoted as having said. He added that the company's asset management operations have been gaining a lot of interest from regional investors, particularly from the Gulf and the UAE, despite rumours of a market slowdown.

"As much as 70 per cent of our global business comes from the Middle East at the moment, with institutional investors (comprising banking institutions, HNW individuals, family offices, etc) consisting a large chunk of investors," Mr Ghulati reportedly said. The company has around nine offshore funds in the GCC.

UTI International, a subsidiary of India's UTI Asset Management Company, is listed as a foreign institutional investor with the Securities and Exchange Board of India. Worldwide, it manages around $700 million in assets. UTI International markets its offshore funds to investors looking for India-based opportunities, while the bulk of its fund management work is locally based.

Indian asset management firms are stepping up their game with regard to Middle Eastern networks as a significant proportion of non-resident Indians are based in the region. NRIs have, in the wake of the global financial crisis, been aggressively seeking wealth opportunities onshore, such as fund investment and real estate, given the robust growth prospects for the South Asian country.

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