Dubai: Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) Monday announced that it will launch a new Sharia opportunity fund in the region with exposure to equity markets across the Asia-Pacific region.

The fund is offered by Prudential Asset Management Limited, based in the DIFC. It will seek to invest in Sharia-compliant companies in the APAC region excluding Japan.

The Prudential Sharia Opportunities — Asia Pacific Equity Fund, endeavours to provide medium- to long-term capital appreciation by investing in Sharia-compliant companies within the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan), the bank said in a statement.

The fund seeks to capitalise on the sustained economic growth and increasing wealth across the APAC region.

"The Asia-Pacific region has emerged as an anchor for the global economic recovery and, driven by consumption and investment, is poised for further growth. This new product is in line with DIB's commitment to introduce pioneering, high-quality financial products. said Dr Adnan Chilwan, Deputy CEO and Chief of Consumer and Wholesale Banking, Dubai Islamic Bank

"The fund is designed for our valued high net worth customers who understand the opportunities presented by the Asia-Pacific equities," he said.

The new fund will be benchmarked against the Dow Jones Islamic Market Asia Pacific ex-Japan Index, participation in the fund allows investors to gain exposure across a range of growth countries and industries through a single platform.

According to estimates by brokerage firm Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia, Asia's rapidly expanding middle-class population is forecast to reach the one billion mark by 2015. Meanwhile, Asian consumer spending is estimated to grow from $4.3 trillion (Dh15.8 trillion) in 2008 to $32 trillion by 2030, representing roughly 43 per cent of global consumption.

In recent months, DIB has been offering innovative Sharia-compliant investment opportunities to investors in the UAE and the region. In November last year DIB in association with France's Eiffel Management, a fund management company announced the launch of the UAE's first real estate investment trust (Reit).

The initiative was a move by DIB to help fuel growth in the UAE's real estate market by allowing investors to pool income-producing real estate assets under a common management and receive tradable shares in the Reit.