Certifying the first Islamic ETF on NYSE

US based Falah Capital, is pleased to announced that its flagship Islamic exchange traded fund  (Ticker: FIA)- certified for Shari’a compliance by Shariyah Review Bureau – has successfully listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has been trading efficiently since Oct 2nd . The ETF has so far produced a return of -1.29% and has outperformed broader market U.S. Indexes.

Tracking the Russell-IdealRatings Islamic U.S. Large Cap Index, it is the first of its kind to be listed on the NYSE, which can be traded globally. It is also the first Fund in the United States to be supervised for Shari’a compliance by a GCC based Shari’a Advisor.

The ETF as a qualified investment will reduce regulatory constraints and bring a wide variety of benefits for ethical investors and communities of Islamic financiers from Thailand to Australia, Pakistan to Indonesia, UK to Africa and USA. Thom Polson, co-founder and CEO of Falah Capital, said: “We are very excited about this ETF and look forward to working with our regulator to maintain best practices. We also expect that passively managed Islamic funds will appeal to a wide community of Islamic investors as they provide broader company coverage and more diversified sector exposure, than many funds that have a high concentration in a few sectors or stocks.”

To validate the Funds ongoing trading and improve operational efficiency from a Shari’a perspective Falah Capital had assigned the growing footprint and resources of one of the world’s leading Shari’a Advisory company – Shariyah Review Bureau. Commenting on the Shari’a Compliance of the ETF.  Falah Capital founding member Naif A. Al-Obaidallah added, “We are proud to have received the Shari’a Certification from Shariyah Review Bureau who will also be supervising the continuous health of the Fund’s Shari’a compliance as we now begin to engage the Fund’s business into the expanding Islamic equities market”

There has been a phenomenal growth of Islamic equity markets in recent years with Funds propping up not only in the GCC and Muslim populated countries instead in diverse geographical places such as South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and even Thailand – all of whom have been ambitiously working to become part of this growth.

Following the listing, Mr. Polson noted “By adhering to ethical and faith based investment requirements. We have committed ourselves to a long-term and sustainable alignment of interests with those of our customers. And being positioned on the New York stock exchange as Shari’a compliant is part of a transformation process, which will allow American and global investors to trade in the Islamic capital markets.”

According to a Shariyah Review Bureau’s experience stock markets in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar will remain be the most active in the GCC region but they also foresee a positive pipeline of companies looking to launch Islamic Funds regionally as well as on international stock exchanges.

“For Muslims around the world doing business in a Shari’a compliant way is vital” said Mr. Yasser Dahlawi, CEO at Shariyah Review Bureau. “Given the strong market sentiment in the Islamic Equity trading markets we expect this first NYSE listing to gain more momentum especially as Shari’a compliant indices continue to outperform all conventional developed and emerging market country indices and almost all frontier countries.” He added “We are proud to be part of this effort in certifying and auditing the Compliance of the listed ETF from a Shari’a perspective.”

Mr. Mansoor Munir, Assistant General Manager at Shariyah Review Bureau also stated “One idea is surely dominating the Equity market: Shari’a Compliance. In recent years we have seen more and more companies from a range of industries approaching us to help them achieve compliance with Shari’a. And as the trend of going Shari’a compliant becomes familiar to the US community of both investors and businesses, interest in the Islamic way of doing businesses will grow.” Speaking about the listing of the fund  he added “This is a very exciting time for the Islamic ETF market and naturally for us as the Fund’s Shari’a Advisor. Our engagement with Falah Capital will help ensure we continue to provide Shari’a assurance to investors worldwide through our periodical Shari’a Audits.”

About Falah Capital

Falah Capital provides shariah-compliant, index-based fund products to institutional and individual investors around the world. The firm’s approach to screening investments according to the principles of Islam offers the transparency, low costs, and high liquidity through New York Stock Exchange listed Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) to any investor seeking a values-based investment vehicle.

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Falah Capital partners with the foremost authorities in the U.S. and Islamic finance communities, including Russell Investments, IdealRatings, and Exchange Traded Concepts to ensure the accuracy, transparency and authenticity of its funds.

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