A new Sharia-compliant index has been launched by ratings agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) in partnership with the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC).
The S&P COMCEC 50 Sharia Index measures the performance of companies whose exchanges are members of the OIC and consists of the largest stocks from countries in Africa, Central and Southeast Asia and across the Arab world.
The index was launched during the second meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development task force of MENA Stock Exchanges for Corporate Governance held at Istanbul.
It was attended by regional stock exchange directors including Bahrain Bourse chief Fouad Rashid.
Stocks are selected in accordance with Sharia compliance screenings as determined by the S&P Sharia Indices Methodology and must have a minimum three-month average daily value traded of $1 million at each rebalancing reference date.
To enhance portfolio diversification, at least one stock and no more than eight, from each country or territory must be included in the index.
The maximum weight of each listed stock in the index is five per cent, while each country's is weighted in at 20pc.
"The index has been designed to shed light on the investment opportunities that the financial markets and exchanges of OIC members can provide in a way that will contribute to attracting more investments to those markets," said Mr Rashid.
"The launch of this index will hopefully meet the ever increasing interest of investors worldwide for Sharia-compliant companies and instruments," he said.