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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dow Jones introduces Shari'a compliant indexes

In a move that can only describe the subservience of the business world to Islam, Dow Jones has introduced an index that complies with Muslim Shari'a law. Make that four indexes.
Dow Jones Indexes is set to launch four new indexes for the Middle East and North Africa region, giving investors access to both conventional and Shari’a compliant indexes.

Dow Jones Indexes, best known for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, is launching the Dow Jones GCC Index, covering the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

The company is also launching a Dow Jones GCC Islamic Market Index.

"Dow Jones Indexes is expecting to see great interest in these new indexes," Andrea Weidemann, a spokesperson for Dow Jones Indexes, told The Media Line. "They are the first indexes on the market which include real-time data of the Saudi stock market."

In order to be listed on an Islamic Market Index, the company must comply with Shari’a, Islamic law. Companies involved in alcohol, tobacco, pork-related products, financial services, defense/weapons or entertainment will not be included on the index.

The decision as to which companies follow Shari’a will be made by Tadawul, which operates the Saudi stock exchange.
Dow Jones maintains more than 100 Shari'a compliant indexes throughout the world.

But the biggest joke is that defense and weapons companies are not allowed to be part of the index. Saudi Arabia is one of the largest weapons purchasers in the world.


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