The investment banking arm of Saudi-based Al-Rajhi Bank has received regulatory approval for its first mutual fund that will invest in sukuk, as demand for Shari’ah-compliant debt rises in the Gulf’s largest economy, Reuters has reported. A spokesman at Al-Rajhi Capital could not be reached for comment, but a source at the firm said the fund, in the pipeline since 2012, had been prompted by a growing number of client inquiries about investing in sukuk. Al-Rajhi is the country’s biggest listed lender and the world’s largest Islamic bank, but it has been slower than some of its peers to embrace the sukuk market. It has never raised money through a sukuk issue itself.
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