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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