SOURCE: Azzad Asset Management

Azzad Asset Management

August 31, 2016 09:00 ET

First U.S. Halal Fixed Income Fund Passes $100 Million in Net Assets

Azzad Wise Capital Fund Offers Socially Responsible Alternative to Bond Funds

FALLS CHURCH, VA --(Marketwired - August 31, 2016) - Azzad Asset Management, sponsor of the Azzad Funds, today announced that its flagship mutual fund -- the first halal fixed income fund in the United States -- crossed the $100 million threshold in August. A socially responsible, interest-free alternative to bond funds, the Azzad Wise Capital Fund (NASDAQ: WISEX) was launched in 2010.

In accordance with the internationally recognized standards for halal (Islamically permissible) investing, WISEX aims to produce a return that is comparable to that of bank accounts and other financial instruments without dealing in interest. By investing primarily in sukuk and Islamic bank deposits it provides a viable fixed-income investment option that also contributes to global societal development.

"We are grateful to our shareowners who have validated the notion that people and profits can go hand in hand," said Azzad Vice President Jamal Barmil. "Focused on community development and poverty alleviation, WISEX is an active force for good in the world, in addition to being an important investment option for everyone from impact investors to observant Muslims." Barmil is also a co-portfolio manager for the fund.

In 2014, Azzad hired Federated Investment Management Company, a subsidiary of Federated Investors, Inc., as sub-advisor for the Azzad Wise Capital Fund. This followed news from Thomson Reuters that the fund had won a 2014 Lipper Fund Award for Best Global Bond (Sukuk) Fund.

In February of this year, Azzad announced that WISEX would participate in a series of syndicated ethical trade finance deals arranged by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), whose purpose is to advance trade to improve the economic conditions of people around the world.

See: Islamic Mutual Fund Increases Social Impact with Trade Finance Investments

The Azzad Wise Capital Fund invests in Islamic banks as part of its socially responsible investing mandate. Acting as an agent, Islamic banks bundle profit- and loss-sharing account holder assets together and channel capital into community development projects focused on job creation. Account holders make a return by investing in real economic projects globally.

The fund also invests in U.S.-dollar denominated investment grade sukuk. Sometimes referred to as "Islamic bonds," sukuk are financial instruments issued to obtain an up-front payment in exchange for an income stream generated from tangible assets or services, often through leasing. A major distinction between conventional bonds and sukuk is that the latter are linked to an asset, allowing investors to be equity stakeholders.

Last month, it was reported that JP Morgan would include sukuk in its emerging market indices beginning in the fourth quarter of 2016.

See: Sukuk Bonds: Where the Smart Money is Headed?

Today's milestone announcement comes on the heels of noteworthy industry recognition. Azzad Asset Management's real estate, large-cap growth, small-cap growth, and small-cap value strategies, in addition to the firm itself, have recently received accolades.

See: Financial Times Names Azzad Asset Management a Top Registered Investment Adviser for 2016
See also: Azzad Recognized Again as 'Top Guns Manager' by Informa Investment Solutions

The Azzad Wise Capital Fund is available on all major mutual fund platforms, including Charles Schwab, Fidelity, Pershing, and TD Ameritrade, in addition to being offered through a wide variety of broker dealers.

About Azzad
Azzad Asset Management, investment advisor to the Azzad Funds and sponsor of the Azzad Ethical Wrap Program, is committed to providing investment services designed to help people enjoy optimum performance without compromising their values. Azzad is a member of the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, and the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions. The firm, based outside Washington, DC, is a registered investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

About the 2014 Lipper Fund Awards
The Lipper Fund Awards are part of the Thomson Reuters Awards for Excellence, a global family of awards that celebrate exceptional performance throughout the professional investment community. The Thomson Reuters Awards for Excellence recognize the world's top funds, fund management firms, sell-side firms, research analysts, and investor relations teams. The Thomson Reuters Awards for excellence also include the Extel Survey Awards, the StarMine Analyst Awards, and the StarMine Broker Rankings. For more information, please contact markets.awards@thomsonreuters.com or visit excellence.thomsonreuters.com. The 2014 Lipper Fund Award winners are selected based on the highest risk-adjusted performance among funds within a given category for the 1-, 2-, 3-, 5-, and 10-year periods ending 12/31/13. The Azzad Wise Capital Fund is the winner of the Lipper Global Islamic Fund Award for the 1-year period in the Bond Global (Sukuk) category. A high Lipper rating does not necessarily imply that the fund had the best total performance or that the fund achieved positive results for the period. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. For current to most recent month-end performance on the Azzad Wise Capital Fund, please visit our website: www.azzadfunds.com.

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