Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mutual funds with religious-based investment criteria expanding rapidly

"Faith-based funds start making noise", Chicago Tribune, September 17, 2006

The use of religious-based criteria for investing has grown rapidly, outpacing the overall growth in the mutual fund industry. According to Morningstar, Inc., a Chicago-based provider of investment research, assets in religious-based funds was $16.03 billion at the end of July, up from $2.37 billion in 2000. Saturna Capital Company's Shari'ah-compliant fund Amana funds, based in Bellingham, Washington has assets of $315 million today, up from $30 million in 2003.

"At the 43rd annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America, held earlier this month in Rosemont, Ill., sessions included "Concepts of Islamic Banking" and "Estate Planning in Compliance with U.S. Law and Shariah Obligation."

One of the scheduled speakers in a session called "Retirement Planning and Options" was Monem Salam, director of Islamic investing for Saturna Capital Corp. of Bellingham, Wash., which runs the Amana funds."

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