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New Islamic investment index launched for the Australian market

Zafar Anjum | Feb. 3, 2012
Thomson Reuters and Crescent Wealth open up emerging Islamic finance market, expanding investment opportunities and strengthening Australia’s position as a destination for Islamic investment.

Thomson Reuters and Crescent Wealth have announced the launch of an Islamic investment index for Australia to help open up this market to Islamic finance investors globally.

Thomson Reuters is a leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals.  Established in 2007, Crescent Wealth is the only Australian wealth manager with a specialist focus on Islamic investing.

The newly launched index enables investors to benchmark the Australian equities market.  It also provides a powerful tool to those wishing to expand and diversify their investment portfolios in accordance with Islamic principles, the two companies said in a statement on 1 February.

The Thomson Reuters Crescent Wealth Islamic Australia Index, covering 143 equities with combined market capitalisation of $160 billion, is the first benchmark index to screen ASX-listed companies for compliance with Islamic investment principles. The Shariah screening filters used by the index produces a dynamic bias towards resources and energy firms, including blue chip companies such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

The creation of the index is a key step toward positioning Australia as an attractive destination for global Islamic investment funds and family offices. It is estimated Islamic banking assets globally now exceed US$1 trillion and could reach US$4 trillion by 2020, and that there is US$50 billion in managed funds investing in equities according to Islamic principles. 

"It is a powerful new tool for Islamic investors to geographically diversify their portfolios while increasing investment opportunities into an important G-20 country like Australia," said Rushdi Siddiqui, global head of Islamic finance and OIC countries at Thomson Reuters.

"The new index is a natural fit for Crescent Wealth, as Australia's first purely Islamic-focused fund manager," said Talal Yassine, managing director of Crescent Wealth. "There is a huge untapped potential to grow Islamic-compliant investment in Australia from investors around the world, in particular in Asia and the Middle East. This index gives these investors a local performance benchmark for the Australian market."

 

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