by Stanley Azuakola
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has concluded plans to introduce an Islamic Equity Index on the floor of the exchange.
The “NSE Lotus Islamic Index” (with the code NSE LII) will début today (Monday) as part of the strategies of the NSE to boost the breadth of the market in Nigeria. It will consist of companies, which conform to the principles of Shari’ah.
To get the ball rolling, the management of NSE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lotus Capital Limited for the development and management of certified Sharia compliant Index.
According to Mr. Osahon Aire, who is the exchange’s project manager for the NSE LII launch, the Islamic Equity Index would create “an important benchmark for investments as the alternative non-interest investment space widens.”
NSE LII is the first index created to track the performance of Sharia compliant equities on the floor of the exchange.
Investment instruments like Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) can be built on the Index, and would provide opportunity for ethical/Sharia compliant investors to invest in it.
The current president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Bishop Ayo Oritsejafor has repeatedly expressed displeasure over policy actions by government agencies which create the impression that the government officially sanctions a particular religion (Islam, in this case).
Let’s wait to see what he would say about this development.