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Brown Brothers, Wafra, Open Offshore Islamic Index Fund

Wafra Investments Advisory Group and Brown Brothers Harriman, both of New York, recently opened the Wafra/BBH & Co.-Dow Jones Islamic Index Fund, which will be offered to investors outside the United States and non-U.S. citizens.

A version of the fund eligible for U.S. investors is planned to open within the next 12 months. The fund is the first mutual fund to track the Dow Jones Islamic Market Index, which tracks stocks deemed suitable for investment by Islamic persons, said Rushdi Siddiqui, director of Dow Jones' Islamic Index Group. The index was opened Feb. 9 (MFMN, June 14, 1999).

Two other investment companies are expected to open Islamic index funds for U.S. investors in the near future, Siddiqui said.

Brown Brothers expects to have retail distribution agreements for the fund for Islamic investors in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait soon. Similar relationships will be in operation in other Middle East countries by the end of the summer, according to John A. Nielsen, Brown Brothers Harriman's partner in charge of international investment advisory clients.