Not unexpectedly, Shari’ah compliant funds have a significant audience around the world, not least in the US. Latest in the queue is Princeton-based Javelin Investment Management LLC (we can’t find a URL yet), which has applied to the SEC for the first US ETF to be based on an Islamic index.
According to a post by Eric Rosenbaum on SeekingAlpha this morning http://seekingalpha.com/article/110255-halal-investing-first-shari-ah-compliant-etf-on-the-way?source=feed, such Islamic investments currently aggregate $700 billion, on the way to $1 trillion in a year or so. The new Javelin fund, JETS Islamic ETF, plans to trade on NYSE Arca if and when it is approved.
This is hardly the first hedge fund to see an underserved market. Earlier this year, under the sponsorship of Dubai Shariah Asset Management, the government of Dubai seeded 5 Shariah-compliant funds in the US with $50 million of walking-around money each. Those funds are Red Bank, NJ-based Lucas Capital Management (http://www.lucascapital.com) , NY-based Tocqueville Asset Management (http://www.tocqueville.com), NY-based Zweig-Dimenna (http://www.zweig-dimenna.com), NY-based Ospraie Management (http://www.ospraie.com), and, not surprisingly, Black Rock (http://www.blackrock.com). For details on these five funds’ Shariah-compliant programs, or the platform on which they are built, see http://www.shariahcap.com/news/images/Al%20Safi%20Press%20Release%20-%20DMCC%20Seed%20Shariah%20Compliant%20Hedge%20Funds%20on%20Al%20Safi%20Trust%20Platform%2019%20Jun%2008%20-%20US.pdf
That just skims the surface. Much more to come on this.