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Wall Street targets Muslim investors with ETF

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The first American exchange-traded fund to adhere to Islamic beliefs about investing and finance is to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol JVS.

The first American exchange-traded fund to adhere to Islamic beliefs about investing and finance is to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol JVS.

Javelin Exchange Traded Funds Dow Jones Islamic Market International Index Fund will seek to match the performance of the Dow Jones Islamic Market Titans 100 Index.

The index is composed of 100 companies located outside the US, comprising some 23 countries and exposure to 18 different trading currencies. The fund anticipates a gross expense ratio of 0.68 per cent.

"Adherence to Islamic law leads to a sound investment strategy with an emphasis on concrete assets and services," says Javelin president and founder Brint Frith. "By avoiding such areas as gaming and alcohol, the results are often similar to those of the socially responsible investment funds."

In addition to alcohol and gaming, Islamic law prohibits investment in pork products and certain forms of entertainment. Because Shar’iah law also objects to borrowing or lending at interest, financial stocks are reduced as are highly leveraged companies.

The index’s largest sector weighting as of 29 May 2009 was oil and gas, followed by basic materials, healthcare, technology and telecommunications. As of that date, the UK showed the highest country allocation at 21.04 per cent of the index, followed by Canada (10.71 per cent), Japan (9.83 per cent) and France (9.82 per cent).

Javelin Investment Management was founded for the purpose of introducing a series of new ETFs. The JETS Dow Jones Islamic Market International Index Fund is its first offering.

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