Launch of the first Islamic fund in Tunisia

Nov 29, 2012
The first Islamic fund of Tunisia, with a budget of 50 million dinars (€24.4 million), was launched on November 23rd.

"Themar" is a mutual risk fund that complies with Sharia law and whose purpose is to finance small and medium-sized enterprises in the country.

It will create 1,000 jobs and finance in a first phase of 30 companies of between 500,000 dinars and 2.5 million dinars, reports the Tunisian news agency TAP.

The fund is financed by the Islamic Development Bank, Bank Al-Baraka and the Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC) in Tunisia.

Its launch comes shortly after the Tunisian government announced that it will issue Islamic bonds next year as part of its efforts to support public borrowing.

Adnan Ahmed Yousif, chief executive of Al Baraka Banking Group, told Reuters earlier this year that "Tunisia has the potential to become the hub of Islamic finance in Africa" and that "the country is moving towards this direction".

Tunisia comes 23rd in world rankings of Sharia-compliant assets, with $800 million (€619 million) out of $36 billion globally, Islamic Finance News reports.

According to the CIA World Factbook, there is a strong potential for the development of Islamic finance in Tunisia, as 98 to 99.5 per cent of Tunisians are Muslims.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801497985-ADNFCR