Dow Jones launches new faith-based index

Dow Jones launches new faith-based index

After investments in stock market based on Islamic values, investors would now be able to park money in stocks of companies that operate in accordance with the principles of religions like Hinduism and Buddhism.

Global index developer Dow Jones Indexes, in partnership with Dharma Investments, today launched ‘Dharma Indexes’, which measure the performance of companies selected according to the value systems of religions especially Hinduism and Buddhism.

“The Down Jones Dharma Indexes bring together a combination of environmental, social, governance and traditional sin sector filters.

As such, the index is unique and will not just have appeal to the religious, but to a far broader audience as well,” Dharma Investments CEO Nitesh Gor told the media.

The first faith-based index was launched in 1999 when Dow Jones came out with an Islamic market index. Presently, there are many Shariah compliant indices with asset under management of over $500 billion.

The Dharma indices series includes Dow Jones Dharma Global Index, as well as four country indices for the US, UK, Japan and India. For inclusion in the index, a stock must pass a set of industry, environmental, corporate governance and qualitative screenings, Gor said.

Dow Jones will licence the index to mutual funds that may come out with products based on the index.

Dow Jones Indexes Senior Director, Asia Pacific, Sumeet Nihalani said 8-10 mutual funds have already approached the company for the index. The funds will be charged an annual licence fee or a small percentage of the assets under management, he added.

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