Monday, June 9, 2008

Coming: Dharmic Finance

Dow Jones Indexes, who pioneered the Islamic benchmark almost nine years ago has come out with the Dharmic version in partnership with UK-based Dharma Investments. DJI hopes that this would serve millions of Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains who wish to invest according to Dharmic Rules. The indices have been calculated under five country-specific categories: a global one and one each for US, India, the UK and Japan.

Though the concept is simple its practice is little complicated. First issue is with the concepts basic definitive rules itself. Whats Dharma? The definition itself varies, but they found a popular one propounded by Rishi Kanada. Secondly, what sectors need to be included? While for its a 'No-entry' for Pharma coms while financial stocks and banking is in. Socially and environmentally responsible companies would surely find place in this benchmark defined investment portfolios.

Already a 3519 number list of suitable companies has been drawn including 990 from US, 491 from Japan and 249 from India.

The performance of Dhama Global Index, one among the five Dharma indices, have performed well. Its backtesting shows a return of 115.01 per cent in dollar terms compared to 106.62 of the World Index over the same period.

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