Islamic Banking

Citibank Initials Shariah Funds Distribution Deal

Bob Reynolds, 14 May 2007

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The global banking giant Citibank, a division of Citi, has signed an agreement with DWS Investments to distribute its full range of investment products. DWS Investments is the global mutual fund division of Deutsche Bank.

The deal embraces Shariah-compliant DWS Noor Islamic Funds which were launched in December. They were developed to meet the specific needs of retail and institutional Islamic investors. The DWS Noor family of funds includes: DWS Noor Precious Metals Securities Fund, DWS Noor Global Select Equity Fund, DWS Noor China Equity Fund, DWS Noor Japan Equity Fund and DWS Noor Asia Pacific Equity Fund.

"Citibank has been active in the area of providing Shariah-compliant investment products and has already adopted an ethnic approach to this segment by appointing a UAE national segment head," said Sanjoy Sen, Citibank's business manager for the United Arab Emirates. "The DWS Investments tie-up is a big step to providing unique and sophisticated Islamic products to investors that complements our existing Shariah-compliant investment product range."

Scott Jaffray, chief investment officer for DWS Investments in Middle East and North Africa, and architect of the DWS Noor Islamic funds range, said: "We are delighted to work with Citibank on the distribution of DWS Noor Islamic Funds, thereby providing Citibank's valued customers access to these innovative funds. This family of funds has been well received by investors, and we expect this appeal to increase as we continue to expand the range of funds further."

As the global mutual fund arm of Deutsche Bank, DWS is one of the top 10 largest mutual fund managers worldwide with more than €254 billion of funds under management globally. Its unique business model combines global investment knowledge with local presence and responsibility, one single brand and a country specific sales and service strategy.

Founded in Germany in 1956, DWS is today a local player in Europe's most important markets. In the United States, DWS operates under the DWS Scudder brand. In 2006, DWS started its expansion into the Asia Pacific marketplace by opening in Singapore and India. The outstanding performance of DWS has been consistently confirmed though top ranks and industry awards by independent fund rating agencies.

Citi has been in the Middle East for nearly 50 years and currently offers consumer-banking services in the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. In the UAE alone, Citibank, the consumer banking arm of Citigroup, has had a presence for the past 43 years, and is expanding its major operations within the country. The bank is currently a major player in the UAE's credit card market and a leading provider of banking, wealth management and consumer credit services.

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