S&P/OIC COMCEC 50 Shariah Index has been launched during a press conference held on 22 June 2012, in Istanbul, Turkey. The index has been designed by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) in partnership with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Stock Exchanges Forum. Mr. Mehmet Metin Eker, Director General of the COMCEC Coordination Office, and Mr. Vefahan Ocak, Director-General of the OIC Cabinet and Principal Advisor and representatives of the OIC Member States' Stock Exchanges, were present at the launch ceremony. The SESRIC was represented at the index inauguration by Mr. Nadi Serhan Aydin, the Centre’s Researcher.
The Index measures the performance of 50 leading Shariah-compliant companies from the OIC member countries. Companies from all 19 countries whose exchanges are members of the OIC Stock Exchanges Forum and are covered by S&P Indices are eligible for the Index. These are: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Stocks are selected in accordance with Shariah compliance screenings as determined by the S&P Shariah Indices Methodology. In addition, stocks must have a minimum three-month average daily value traded of one million U.S. dollars at each rebalancing reference date. The Index will also allow for portfolio diversification by allowing a maximum of eight stocks from each country to be included in it.
Mr. Alka Banerjee, Vice President, Global Equity and Strategy Indices from S&P Indices, said: "We are pleased to partner with the OIC Stock Exchanges Forum to create this new benchmark for Islamic countries. Demand for Shariah-compliant investing solutions and interest in the equity markets of Islamic countries have increased over the past several years. The S&P/OIC COMCEC 50 Shariah Index is unique in that it encapsulates in one index the performance of Shariah-compliant stocks from Islamic countries located throughout the world."
Dr. Ibrahim M. Turhan, Chairman of the OIC Member States’ Stock Exchanges Forum, and Chairman and CEO of the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB), added: "I believe that the S&P/OIC COMCEC 50 Shariah Index will fill a principal gap, since, so far, there have been only a few measures to gauge the performance of Shariah-compliant companies. This new index is a product of the collective efforts of our colleagues in the OIC Member States’ Stock Exchanges Forum and S&P Indices, and I would like to express my gratitude to my associates for their valuable contributions. Through the S&P/OIC COMCEC 50 Shariah Index, we hope to contribute to the ever-increasing interest for Shariah-compliant companies while adding to the visibility of the stock exchanges of OIC countries. The Index is also important in the sense that it will offer a benchmark for a variety of financial products such as ETFs [Exchange Traded Funds] and likewise." For further information, please visit http://www.oicexchanges.org or http://www.standardandpoors.com/indices