New White Paper Outlines Performance of Islamic Investment Strategies

Azzad Asset Management has announced the release of a white paper detailing the impact of Halal investing guidelines on investment performance. Examining historical data over the last two decades, the white paper offers evidence that Shari'ah-screened indices, which favor industries like information technology and health care and exclude financial services, can outperform their broad-based conventional counterparts over the long term. The paper also shows that the most significant divergence between conventional and Shari'ah-screened indices is the almost complete lack of financials in the latter due to the Islamic prohibition on interest. Azzad's findings follow other research indicating that socially responsible investing strategies can deliver competitive risk-adjusted returns over the long run.

Middle East's 157 Billionaires Dominate Region's UHNW Wealth

The Middle East's billionaires – with a combined net worth of US$354 billion – hold a higher percentage of total wealth than in any other region in the world, findings from the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013 show. Forty percent of the Middle East's ultra high net worth (UHNW) wealth is being held by the region's 157 billionaires, compared to 28 percent in Europe, 22 percent in North America and 18 percent in Asia. Saudi Arabia leads the region with the most billionaires (64). Middle East is the region with the fourth most billionaires – after Europe (766), North America (552) and Asia. Middle Eastern billionaires increased their wealth in the last year by US$39 billion (12.4 percent) with five additional billionaires (3.3 percent).

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