BankMuscat plans two India funds

Oman-based BankMuscat is planning two funds to invest in the Indian market, one of which is specifically targeted at companies which are consistent with Shari’ah law.

BankMuscat, Oman’s largest bank, is planning a $250 million (€183
million) Shari’ah-compliant India fund and a $500 million fund for the Indian domestic market.

The Shari’ah compliant fund will not invest in stocks that deal in liquor, tobacco, banking and other products forbidden by the Koran. The fund should begin raising money in three to six months and will primarily target investors in Oman and Dubai. Mangal Keshav will manage the fund.

The other $500 million fund will target high-potential unlisted Indian companies, but no timeframe has been confirmed for this fund.

K. Gopakumar, general manager and head of wholesale banking at BankMuscat, said his bank was considering fundraising in Saudi Arabia where the bank has recently begun operations.

The bank has already invested $150 million in Indian stock markets through its portfolio management services. BankMuscat, which owns assets worth $ 7.7 billion, has been operating in India for the last eight years.