New index to benchmark the performance of Asia-Pacific Shariah compliant REITs.

San Francisco, March 11, 2015 – IdealRatings today announced the launch of a Shariah compliant Asia-Pacific REITs Index, called the IdealRatingsAsia-Pacific REITs Index, for the use of Fund Managers who are benchmarking REITs funds.  For a start, the REITs Index will cover Asia-Pacific REITs and it will subsequently widen the coverage to include the entire global REITs universe. The Bloomberg ticker for the IdealRatings Asia-Pacific REITS Index is IRTGAPPR and ticker for the total return index is IRTGAPT.

Shariah compliant sophisticated investors have been injecting cash steadily into the Property and Real Estate sector globally with a special focus in theAsia-Pacific market. REITs, as an asset class, have risen into prominence given the dividend pay-outs from the REITs.  From the perspective of the REITs fund investor; the Shariah compliant REIT fund is like a dividend paying conventional equity fund and it is Shariah compliant.  Specialized REIT Fund Managers like B&I Capital have been using the IdealRatings screening solution to be able to analyse and monitor listed REITs from shariah compliance and performance perspective. The resulting consistent step for Fund Managers like B&I Capital, is to have a relevant Index to benchmark the performance of the fund and track the growth and performance of the Shariah compliant REITs sector.

The market cap-weighted, free-float Index has a methodology to review the universe eligibility annually.  The Shariah screening of the eligible universe takes place quarterly and the index is also re-balanced on quarterly basis.  The REIT Company’s business activities must be in accordance with the IdealRatings methodology for REITs, Real Estate Operation and Properties business classification activities. For the IdealRatings Asia-Pacific REITs index, the REIT must derive 50% of its income from the Asia-Pacific region in order for it to be included in the Index.

The IdealRatings Asia-Pacific REITs Index is calculated in US Dollars with REITs listed in Australia, Japan, Singapore and other countries.  This new index represents B&I Capital and IdealRatings demonstrating their commitment and development of the REITs sector in the Islamic Finance industry.  It is an indication that Shariah compliant investments are moving into new sectors and diversifying the investments from the traditional sectors like Oil & Gas and Basic Materials.

Mohamed Donia, IdealRatings CEO commenting on the introduction of the new index, “We are enthusiastic to launch the first Shariah compliant Asia-Pacific REITs index. We have been investing in global REITs research for the past few years and this investment has paid off with an innovative methodology for Shariah compliant REITs along with the Asia-Pacific REITs Index. We are always looking to increase various asset classes for investment managers and we foresee a major growth in this asset class as fund managers begin to include the REITs sector in their portfolio.”
Charles Isaac, B&I Capital AG, CEO commented: ‘We are pleased with the index IdealRatings have worked hard to produce. It is an investable and representative index of Sharia’ compliant REITs in Asia and one we look forward to using as a benchmark with which to compare performance. The Sharia’ compliant REIT sector is still in its infancy with a very promising future so index initiatives like this will encourage further asset allocation and broadening of the investment universe.’

About B&I Capital AG

B&I Capital AG is an independent asset manager specializing in REITS and real estate securities.  The fund management team has combined more than 50 years of experience and is a pioneer in the Asian REIT industry.  Headquartered in Zurich with a research office in Singapore, B&I Capital is passionate about the potential of the Asian real estate investment trust potential. B&I Capital is an active member of the real estate securities industry in Asia and often gives advice to regulators, associations and companies on best practices and improvements for the industry. B&I Capital AG is fully licensed by FINMA in Switzerland.

About IdealRatings, Inc.

IdealRatings® is the most trusted provider of comprehensive faith-based and responsible investment information. IdealRatings analyze and screen various asset classes that cover equities,

REITs and Sukuk (Islamic fixed income instruments) globally as well as provide customized benchmarks with accordance to clients’ own investment and screening guidelines. IdealRatings fund and index management solutions serve top-tier asset managers, banks, brokerage firms, information providers and index providers in more than 25 countries IdealRatings has partnered with Russell Indexes and has launched the Russell-IdealRatings Global Islamic Indexes series for fund managers to license the indexes for the underlying investments and benchmarking of fund performance. IdealRatings, Inc. is headquartered in San Francisco, California.