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  • Nasdaq Dubai and IdealRatings launch benchmark indices to track performance of Sukuk

    October 10, 2016

      Comprehensive data helps investors make informed decisions Market transparency will support growth of Sukuk sector Launch reflects Dubai’s growth as global Capital of Islamic Economy       Dubai, October 10, 2016 – Nasdaq Dubai and IdealRatings today announced the launch of benchmark indices that track the performance of global Sukuk, in order to provide investors with new data

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  • Nestlē… Another Volkswagen’s replica on the way?

    Despite being a leader in several sustainability indices and a committed signatory to the UN Global Compact since 2001, Nestlē has been criticized since the 1970s for its greediness. The country seems to have ignored the strong policies it has committed itself and has been subject to numerous boycotts due to controversies such as its “killer” baby formula, bottling California water during droughts, destroying rain forests and for the last couple of years, child labor within its supply chain.

    The company, along with, Mars, The Hershey Co., Archer-Daniels-Midland and Cargill has been accused of purchasing cocoa from Cote d’Ivoire in full knowledge of that it used child slaves to harvest cocoa. A filed appeal to have the case dismissed was rejected by the US Supreme Court.

    In defense of the multinational, the Fair Labor Association, an independent entity devoted to protecting workers’ rights globally, conducted 13 surprise monitoring visits to four cooperatives in the Ivory Coast supplying to Nestlē reporting evidence of forced and child labour and while there were improvements according to their report, Nestlē still has a long way to go.

    It’s unclear whether child labour case could lead to the company’s downfall in terms of its stellar corporate responsibility standards reputation but it will certainly put a dent.

    Ameena Abouzeid

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    January 25, 2016
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  • The European corporate sector has a huge demand for the long-term funding. As of the rising regulatory capital requirements by the financial institutions, there is a good opportunity here for Sukuk to act as another alternative of funding source.

    Long-term funding via Sukuk has proved to be quite successful in recent years. The dollar Sukuk market has tens of issuances with maturities up to 10 and 20 years, many of which fund the financial institutions’ Basel 3 capital requirements. Further, Sukuk have also become a sound funding option for sovereign deficits or project finance worldwide, with various structures and nature of underlying assets.

    Kareem Maher

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    January 11, 2016
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  • ESG Methodologies. Back to the white board?

    Volkswagen was considered one of the highest-ranking ESG companies in various market leading ESG indexes. Amazingly, the word “environment” was repeated 355 times in Volkswagen’s 2014 sustainability report, and was seemly a material issue the corporation has always addressed; which -of course- has been proven to be a lie. Now many providers are removing or have removed it from their indexes but unfortunately after the fact! Volkswagen stock almost lost half its value and investors paid the price for it. Looking at the board and management issues in past years, and adding a very high debt ratio on top of these issues, almost 145% of it market capitalization should have clearly removed Volkswagen from ANY ESG and Ethical investment universe. IdealRatings includes such measurements in its Ethical and ESG screens.

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    October 15, 2015
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  • SRI Manager of the year: Arabesque Asset Management

    July 13, 2015

    Being relatively new to the market, Arabesque had to differentiate itself among other market players. The company created two funds “Arabesque Prime Fund” and “Arabesque Systematic Fund”, the new funds outperformed MSCI ACWI by 2.63% and 4.89% respectively, putting the Systematic Fund within the top 5% on return among its peers according to Morningstar calculations. Achieving this in less than 1 year

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  • Do You Purify Your Portfolio?

    July 1, 2015

    One very interesting new principal in Ethical and Islamic fund management is Investment purification, despite being debatable, it is applied today by most prominent wealth managers across the globe. But before we get into it, let us get back one step and Introduce permissible and non-permissible investments as per Shariah law. If you are new to Islamic Finance, the first thing they

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  • The United States is the largest firearms market in the world where the firearms industry now generates more than $10 billion a year in sales, and recently there has been a major momentum to control guns.
    Despite such, firearms sales were up in 2013 higher than any other year over the past 5 years. It is ironic that with all recent firearm control campaigns, sales for firearms producing companies are up tremendously and their stocks performed really well last year!

    Ameena Abouzeid

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    March 31, 2014
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  • Sukuk a relatively infant financial instrument, designed to be a Shariah compliant alternative to conventional bonds, however much debate has been raised on the nature of the instrument, particularly in cases of default, where sukuk holders designation was confused between equity holders and debtors.

    Ghada Essam

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    April 15, 2013
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  • Practitioners and Academics from Egypt, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Germany met at the German University in Cairo to discuss the Islamic Finance status and road ahead globally and in Egypt. One of the main aspects discussed within the conference was the relation between Islamic finance and ethics and how Islamic Finance can grow in the future.

    Dr. Shehab Marzban

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    June 11, 2011
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  • Halal food is a crucial part of the day to day life of Muslims world wide since it ensures that the food and beverages they consume do not conflict with their religious belief in terms of having the meat and poultry slaughtered in accordance to Shariah and food and beverages free from alcohol and pork to name the main criteria for Halal food consideration.

    Shehab Marzban

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    April 23, 2011
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  • All the major index providers have a Shariah compliant offering, this started in the late nineties with Dow Jones debuting its Dow Jones Islamic Market Index℠ family, then FTSE Group developed the FTSE Shariah Global Equity Index Series, Standard & Poor’s introduced the S&P Shariah indices, MSCI Barra MSCI Islamic Index Series, and Russell Investments launched the Russell Jadwa Shariah indexes.

    Youssri Helmy

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    October 4, 2010
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  • Compliance, be it Shariah, green, environmental, social, and governance (ESG), has the same workflow since they all revolve a client requiring the elimination of certain investment vehicles based on certain criteria, and since these customer requirements have been around for a long time, one would expect a certain level of maturity of the technologies, processes and workflows involved in the task to simplify the process, reduce its cost, and eliminate the errors.

    Youssri Helmy

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    February 3, 2010
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  • In social responsible investments you only need to track whether companies are engaged in certain business or not, but in Shariah compliant investments you need to identify the investment constraints, including the value of good sold in a non allowed business segment. We often see very detailed rule books with sophisticated metrics that vary depending on a company’s core business as well as its location.

    Youssri Helmy
    San Francisco

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    December 10, 2009
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