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Amana Income Fund Celebrates 25th Anniversary, Becoming World's Second Largest Islamic Equity Mutual Fund

Stocks in this article: AMAGX AMANX AMDWX

BELLINGHAM, Wash., Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Saturna Capital Corporation, a U.S. investment management company and adviser to nine mutual funds is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its first client, Amana Income Fund.  Since its inception in 1986, Saturna's flagship Amana Income Fund has grown to $1.3 billion and is now the second largest public equity mutual fund in the world managed according to the principles of Islamic finance. Its sibling fund, Amana Growth, is the largest such fund at $1.9 billion in assets.

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Amana Income's 25-year run is rare in the U.S. mutual fund industry. Out of the roughly 7500 mutual funds currently in operation, only about 300, or 4%, have been around as long as Amana Income. Research shows that the closure rate for U.S. mutual funds throughout the 1990s was around 36%, rising to 56% in the 2000s. Funds that fail to attract investors, often due to poor relative performance or distribution strategies, are regularly merged or liquidated by their managers.

Saturna's conservative, value-oriented management style developed and refined by portfolio manager Nicholas Kaiser during his 41 year investment career meshes well with Amana's rigorous Islamic mandates. As a result of the funds' award-winning long-term performance and top-ratings from U.S. fund rating agencies Morningstar and Lipper, the Amana funds found appeal outside of the Muslim community and now have more than 100,000 investors throughout the United States.

"We've spent the past 25 years developing and refining our security screening process to select high-quality, value-oriented stocks that adhere to the principles of Islamic finance," Kaiser explains. "What this means for our shareowners is that we heavily scrutinize the operations of the companies we invest in, and we know their balance sheets and the sources of their revenue."

He added, "Amana's Islamic mandates impose a high level of discipline on our investment process. Our shareowners – many of whom are non-Muslim – know and appreciate this. It's a very systematic and deliberate process, to ensure that each one of our investments not only meets or exceeds multiple criteria, but continues to do so throughout its holding period."

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