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The FTSE Global Islamic and the Risk Dilemma

The FTSE Global Islamic and the Risk Dilemma
Noor Hashim
American International University-Bangladesh, Office of Research and Publications
March 2008

Abstract: "Risk typically represents investments’ double-edged sword. Quantifying the adequate amount of risk to be assumed could be difficult, especially when “too much risk could turn out to be too little.” Under Islamic finance, managing risk is even more challenging. On the one hand, assuming high levels of risk is not encouraged. On the other, Islamic screening rules restrict investment and consequently stimulate risk. This paper considers the above dilemma by examining the effect of adopting screening rules on stock indices risk. The study, conducted using monthly data from FTSE Global Islamic, tests the hypothesis that the Islamic index yields adequate returns for the level of risk undertaken. Results show that the Islamic index surpasses the socially responsible index in performance while operating in line with the market. This risk assessment result does not resolve the dilemma but assures the economic appropriateness of the procedures adopted in managing the Islamic index."

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