Sunday, January 06, 2013

Qatar Islamic equity index

An interesting development in Qatar where the Qatar Exchange and Al Rayan Investment are launching an Islamic equity index of stocks listed on Qatar Exchange that is designed to be the benchmark for an ETF from Al Rayan in the second half of 2013.  While there are many Islamic indices around the world (from Dow Jones and Standard & Poor's, among others), this would cover a universe of equities that I think are not typically included in most of the Islamic indices.

The ETF, if it comes to fruition, would be relatively unique since there are few Islamic ETFs and, I don't think many that cover equities in the GCC.  The question that I would raise regarding the ETF is whether there is sufficient investor interest to provide a liquid enough investment with enough assets that generate enough revenue while maintaining the low expense ratio that distinguish many ETFs from mutual funds.  It is not stated whether the ETF would be made available to investors within Qatar only, across the GCC region or globally where there may be additional interest in getting exposure to the Qatari market.

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