NEW YORK, Feb. 18, 2009 — Dow Jones Indexes, a leading global index provider, celebrates the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Dow Jones Islamic Market (DJIM) Indexes. Dow Jones Indexes was the first index provider which developed a method for screening equity indexes according to Shari’ah law. Today, this index family is used as basis for many investment products and was the first to be licensed as underlying for an exchange-traded fund (ETF).
The Dow Jones Islamic Market World Index was launched in February 1999 as the first benchmark to measure the performance of a global universe of Shari’ah-compliant investable equities. Over the past decade, the Dow Jones Islamic Market index series has been expanded to more than 100 indexes for all major established and emerging financial markets, regions and sectors. Amongst these are Islamic indexes for the ASEAN, BRIC and GCC regions, for India as well as for global and Malaysian blue-chips.
“The decade of Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes is a prolific success story of its own. Dow Jones Indexes has turned what was considered an exotic idea into a cutting edge series of Shari’ah-compliant indexes and has been playing a leading role in further fostering and shaping the Islamic indexing world ever since. We have not only continuously expanded the Dow Jones Islamic Market index series, but were also first movers in Sukuk indexing and combining Islamic with sustainability criteria in the Dow Jones Islamic Market Sustainability Index,” said Michael A. Petronella, president, Dow Jones Indexes. “Our superior and unique Islamic indexes are widely accepted by market participants around the globe. Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes not only have been chosen to underlie the first-ever Islamic exchange-traded funds worldwide, but also they have won a total of sixteen prestigious industry awards for Islamic index innovation and excellence in the past five years,” he continued.
“Islamic indexing is an exciting yet challenging way of measuring markets. Strict industry and financial-ratio screenings for Shari’ah compliance defined by the unique and sophisticated methodology of the Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes add additional layers to usual procedures of index creation and maintenance. Our index teams in Asia, Europe and in the U.S. continuously monitor and actively maintain a global selection universe of thousands of companies and review all Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes on a quarterly basis. In addition, the Dow Jones Islamic Market Index Shari’ah Supervisory Board has been advising on the methodology and matters related to Shari’ah compliance right from day one of this thrilling indexing initiative. These combined efforts have been, are and will be the key to Dow Jones Indexes outstanding success in Islamic indexing,” added John Prestbo, editor and executive director, Dow Jones Indexes.
The Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes follow a unique methodology combining industry with financial ratio screenings. To be eligible for the indexes, a company must meet Shari’ah principles for acceptable products, business activities, debt levels and interest income and expenses. As a result, any company whose core business involves alcohol, conventional financial services, entertainment, pork-related products, tobacco or weapon production is excluded. In a second step, companies with unacceptable levels of debt or impure interest income are excluded.
Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes are designed to serve as underlying or benchmark for financial products such as exchange-traded funds, mutual funds and structured products. There are currently more than 75 licensees with more than US$7 billion in assets tied to the Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes.
For more information on the Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes, please visit www.djindexes.com.