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Dubai Shariah Hedge Fund

Dubai Shariah Hedge Fund

Dubai Shariah Asset Management Hedge Fund Launches

An interesting new fund has opened its doors to investors.  Dubai has announced the opening of its Shariah hedge fund, Dubai Shariah Asset Management, after a stellar performance by last year's first fund of funds.  The fund of funds outperformed indexes, returning 41% in 2009, solidifying hopes that the hedge fund will perform similarly.  Launching hedge fund is a notable change in the region's investment preferences--money tends to go toward more long term investments like real estate and buyout funds.
Fund operator Dubai Shariah Asset Management, or DSAM, sees this as proof that a hedge fund based on Islamic law, or shariah, can provide similar or better returns than conventional hedge funds.
Portfolio managers at BlackRock Inc., Tocqueville Asset Management, Lucas Capital Management LLC and Zweig-DiMenna International Managers Inc. were given an initial mandate to invest in commodity-company stocks that were screened to meet certain requirements. The $260 million currently managed by the four is dubbed the DSAM Kauthar Commodity Fund, named after a river in heaven described by the Quran.
The hedge-fund experiment was a departure for the region's investors, who traditionally put money into real estate, private equity or long-only mutual funds. Hedge funds were shunned due to their secretive trading strategies, which often couldn't be checked for shariah compliance. But Islamic banks around the Arabian Peninsula, which have recently started or bolstered their asset management divisions after real estate prices collapsed, are starting to show interest.
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