By Barnaby Chesterman
iHilal has joined forces with Dow Jones, Online Brokerage Solutions and Accenture to offer Muslim investors online trading that complies with Islamic principles
Conscientious Muslim investors have a new service to look forward to with the launch of the iHilal stock trading service. Investors can now trade Sharia-compliant US and Canadian equities over the Internet, as well as shares of Sharia-compliant foreign companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange.The service, which iHilal.com claims it will launch before the end of the first quarter of this year, does not permit un-Islamic transactions. Those transactions that are banned include options trading, margin trading and short selling.“There are numerous online brokerage services worldwide, but none of them offer Muslims the opportunity to invest their money according to Islamic principles,” claims Ramzi Abu Khadra, CEO of iHilal. Abu Khadra also spoke of his hopes that the service will accelerate the development of Islamic finance in general.iHilal.com, an Islamic financial Web site, is joined by Dow Jones & Company and Online Brokerage Solutions, a US-based Internet brokerage services provider, and Accenture Technologies Venture, previously known as Andersen Consulting (AC) Ventures, to provide the Sharia-compliant solution.The Sharia-compliant features of the service will be incorporated into the technological architecture and operational support provided by Online Brokerage Solutions. “We are designing and building the service to ensure full compatibility with the Dow Jones Islamic stock screening methodology, as well as general guidelines specified to us by iHilal and their Sharia advisory board,” said Bob Vosburgh, chief executive officer, Online Brokerage Solutions.The service will include an Islamic stock filter that will restrict investments to stocks that are Sharia-compliant. This will be based on the Dow Jones Islamic Market Index (DJIMI), which will be updated quarterly in order to remain consistent with the Dow Jones Islamic stock screening methodology.