By Mohammad Reyaz,
New Delhi: The much awaited Sharia-compliant SBI mutual fund that was to be launched on Monday, December 1, has been deferred without giving any reasons.
“Investors are hereby informed that it has been decided to defer the launch of the New Fund Offer of Sharia Equity Fund,” a brief public notice put up on the website of SBI Mutual Fund said.
The notice, dated November 30, was signed by Dinesh Khara, MD & CEO SBI Mutual Fund. It has no mention whatsoever of when will it be launched.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the financial regulator, recently allowed the government-owned SBI and three other mutual funds to launch Sharia funds.
Several groups had been lobbying for years now for interest-free Sharia compliant banking system to be allowed in India to tap into investment opportunities from the country’s 170 million Muslims, who are otherwise hesitant to invest their money as riba or interest is considered Haram (forbidden) in Islam.
Meanwhile, investors who were waiting for the launch of the Sharia compliant MF are feeling let down. Ayaz Mohammad, a HR consultant based in Chennai, who was keen on investing, said: “I was waiting for this so much. I am disheartened that there is no reason given why it has been postponed and also no date mentioned as to when it will open.”