The first U.S.-based ETF to adhere to Islamic beliefs about investing and finance began trading on the New York Stock Exchange today, according to Javelin Investment Management.
The fund was launched by Javelin, based in Princeton, N.J., under the ticker symbol JVS.
The launch is part of a trend that has seen faith-based funds become a flourishing sector within the socially responsible investing market.
"Adherence to Islamic law leads to a sound investment strategy with an emphasis on concrete assets and services," said Brint Frith, president and founder of Javelin. "By avoiding such areas as gaming and alcohol, the results are often similar to those of the socially responsible investment funds."
The new ETF is called the Dow Jones Islamic Market International Index Fund will aim to match the performance of the Dow Jones Islamic Market Titansw 100 Index, according to Javelin. The index is composed of 100 companies outside the U.S., comprising about 23 countries and 18 trading currencies. The fund expects to have an expense ratio of 0.68%.
In addition to avoiding alcohol and gambling investments, the ETF will be prohibited from investing in pork products and certain forms of entertainment, according to Javelin. Islamic objections to borrowing or lending with interest will also limit investments in financial stocks or highly leveraged companies, according to Javelin.