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IdealRatings launches online service for Shariah funds

Web-based service gives analysis and tools to track Islamic investments

IdealRatings Corporation has a launched a new online service to help fund managers to maintain Shariah compliant Islamic funds.

The service, which has launched in Europe, the US and the Middle East, is intended to give fund managers greater insight into investments, along with tools to track different elements of investment funds to monitor whether they are Shariah compliant or not.

The service takes market data from Thomson Financial, Reuters and Interactive Data Corporation, with feeds screened by IdealRatings own software and researchers to classify companies activities with regards to Shariah compliance.

That data is the provided to subscribers as an online web service, with functionality to perform research, analysis and purification tasks.

Youssri Helmy, co-founder and CEO IdealRatings commented: "The Shariah compliant investment market is growing at more than 25% per year, yet fund managers rely on a manual or non-scalable approach to set up and manage their funds. We are in a position to help the region's fund managers and investors by providing them with an intelligent solution that boasts an advanced Shariah compliant fund screening process at the touch of a button.

"In effect this will enable Fund Managers to easily share more timely and accurate analysis with their investors ultimately delivering higher performing Shariah compliant investment fund portfolios,"

Over 30,000 equities are covered by the IdealRatings database, covering around 95% of the global market capitalization. Mohamed Donia, managing partner of IdealRatings said that the service provided unique insight into investments that normal market data services would not. He gave the example of companies such as Louis Vuitton which he said has a small percentage of its activities in alcohol, making it unsuitable for Shariah funds.

IdealRatings is intended to take the Shariah fund market to the next stage of development, Donia said: "The market is demanding services like this. The market is growing in complexity, we have passed the basics of establishing Shariah funds, now like everyone else, investors and fund managers are looking at performance. Our service is just like Bloomberg or Reuters, in that it helps the portfolio manager drive alpha - the highest return on lowest risk, out of Shariah compliant funds."

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