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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

MSM Sharia Index to attract more investment in Islamic finance

By Kabeer Yousuf — MUSCAT — Muscat Securities Market launched ‘Sharia Index’ (MSMSI) aiming at measuring the stock’s performance of Sharia-Compliant Companies that pass the AAOIFI for compliance with the Islamic investment principles yesterday. With this launch, more individuals and corporates are expected to make use of the Islamic financial offerings in the country as a better investor sentiment and trust is created with the introduction of the Sharia Index.

AAOIFI (Accounting and Audit Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions), the Sharia Board is an organisation in Bahrain which comprises Islamic Scholars that issue the religious guidelines to the Islamic financial institutions in the region. “I am certain that there is quite a significant number of people and bodies in our society who are keen to invest in Sharia-compliant financial products and I’m equally certain that the launch would further augment Islamic investment portfolio in the country”, Ahmed bin Saleh al Marhoon, Director-General, MSM said.

Speaking to the Observer, Al Marhoon further noted that “This is the introduction of the Islamic financial institutions and this is the time we have been working on issuing an index which is compliant with the Sharia requirements”. For the introduction of the Sharia Index, MSM has contracted with ‘IdealRatings’ to examine and analyse all the listed companies in order to make sure that those listed companies are in compliant with Sharia requirement. Also, the application of Sharia principle No 21 that is related to securities is also verified. MSMSI is a free-float Index capped at 10 per cent and the index constituents will be revised each quarter.

Marhoon further said that there has been a highly encouraging trend regarding the new IPO’s and an number of companies from both private and public sectors are on the anvil to launch their public offers. “More companies based on Sharia and power generation besides some major public sector companies are expected to launch their IPO’s this year”, Marhoon added.

(Oman Daily Observer / 02 July 2013)

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