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Belgium: Halal Investments

News From : DagangHalal.com (02 Dec 2008)

Since the end of last year a number of Fortis branches are enabling Muslims to invest in made-to-order investment funds. These are shares that were carefully selected on the basis of Islamic sharia law. Companies that are linked to alcohol, tobacco, pork, financial services, weapons and entertainment are excluded. Muslims can sign up to the Fortis B Fix 2008 Islamic Index 1 till the end of the month, an investment fund that respects sharia law. Spokesperson for Fortis Hilde Junius says that they have of course created this fund on the basis of an existing demand, but that it is open for everybody. “Non-believers can also invest in it.” Fortis is following what’s being done abroad. Western financial giants have been aiming at the Muslim clientele for much longer. Dutch bank Bilaa-Riba (‘without interest’) has offered Halal investments from the beginning, and Dutch Rabobank and ABN Amro – that bought Pakistani Prime Bank last year – are also planning financial products. German Deutsche Bank, French BNP Paribas and Citigroup are not keeping quiet either. Junius agrees that the idea is not new. Fortis also already offered funds for specific groups. The Islamic fund is an investment with capital protection, coupled with a Halal market index. The index in question, the Dow Jones Islamic market Titans 100, is permanently supervised by the DJIM Sharia Supervisory Board and is composed of shares from a hundred multinationals that guaranteed that they don’t deal with defense, financial services, alcoholic products, pork or cigarettes. Reference: De Morgen (Dutch) Wednesday, January 16, 2008 http://islamineurope.blogspot.com/2008/01/belgium-halal-investments.html

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