03/03/2009, 00.00
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Philippines Stock Exchange considers sharia-inspired investments

An index is being considered that would be dedicated to stocks that conform to Koranic law. It is a means for attracting investment from the Islamic market. Islamic equity indexes already exist in Southeast Asia, on the exchanges of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, and one will be launched next month in Thailand.

Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Philippines Stock Exchange (PSE) is considering the launch of a new index dedicated to stocks that conform to sharia. Franciso Lim, head of the PSE, explains that "other exchanges in the Asian region are doing it so we might be left behind. We have to study it carefully." The aim of the operation is connected to the possibility of attracting investment from Islamic countries.

The stock markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore already have Islamic equity indexes, and Thailand is preparing to launch one of its own next month. There are at least 30 companies on the PSE that already conform to the dictates of sharia.

The head of the Filipino exchange is not ruling out the possible creation of an Islamic index for the entire region of Southeast Asia, but he adds that in order to study the feasibility of the project, more developments are necessary in the infrastructure of the regional stock markets.

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