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Understanding NSE Sharia-compliance index

Channels Television  
Updated August 6, 2012

Islamic wealth manager Lotus Capital and Nigeria’s bourse (NSE) on Monday launched a debut index of Nigerian Stock Exchange-listed companies that comply with centuries-old Islamic investment principles.

The NSE Lotus Islamic index, which covers 15 equities with combined market capitalisation of around 2.87 billion naira ($18 mln), excludes banks, companies with high levels of debt or leverage and other stocks that conflict with Islamic principles.

The stock exchange said the new index is designed to attract Sharia/ethical investors to Nigeria’s fledgling stock market, particularly those from the Middle East.

The new index is weighted towards fast moving consumer good, cement, oil marketing and manufacturing sectors and includes heavyweight Dangote Cement.

No sector will be allowed to account for more than 40 percent of the index, Lotus said, noting that the index will be reviewed every six months.