By Soren Billing
Benchmark declines but continues to outperform non-Shariah compliant companies.
Standard & Poor’s global benchmark for Shariah compliant companies declined, but continued to outperform, in the first quarter of the year, according to figures published on Tuesday.The S&P Global BMI Shariah index lost six percent in Q1 2009, as a slowing world economies continued to hamper market performance, narrowing a 20.8 percent decline in the previous quarter.
By contrast, the S&P Global BMI index, a non Shariah equivalent, declined 10.4 percent over the same period, compared with a loss of 22.9 percent during the fourth quarter.
“While global markets continued their retreat in the early months of 2009, Islamic investors felt the repercussions less due to the absence of the badly hit financial industry and companies operating with high leverage from Shariah indices,” said Alka Banerjee, vice president of Index Services at S&P.
“Despite ongoing market volaility, Shariah investing continues to attract market share from conventional Western investors as well as the Islamic investment community, and Shariah compliant investment vehicles continue to grow in range, complexity, and variety at an impressive speed,” she added.