Wealth management firm Eurofin Asia is launching a shariah-compliant Asia Islamic trade finance fund, capitalising on investor appetite for Islamic finance deals.

The fund will launch on December 3 2012 with capital of around US$30-50mn, Eurofin confirms to GTR, adding that it is now open for subscription. Eurofin is the sole advisor to the fund, with GCC-based Asiya Investments acting as fund manager.

“The fund will satisfy investors seeking shariah-based exposure to the trade finance asset class. It targets a 5-6% annual net return to investors with a quarterly liquidity profile, positioning it strongly against both other shariah-compliant investment funds where returns of 5-6% are usually accompanied by a five-year lock-up, and liquid-money market funds that currently yield less than 1%,” Gerry Afentakis, Eurofin’s group head of corporate development, tells GTR.

He adds that the new fund will capitalise on the increasing trade flows between the Middle East and Asia, which have been growing at an annual rate of 30% over the past few years.

“Today Asia represents the GCC’s largest trading partner. Trade finance as an asset class demonstrates a consistent and uncorrelated return profile that is highly attractive to investors. Given the physical nature of the underlying trade finance assets, the strategy is intrinsically aligned with shariah principles,” Afentakis concludes.