One of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s two bourses, the Sarajevo Stock Exchange (SASE), said on October 10 it has launched an Islamic stock index jointly with Bosna Bank International (BBI), which operates on the principles of Islamic banking.
The Islamic stock index, which is SASE’s fourth index, is expected to boost Bosnia's economy by helping companies attract fresh capital, SASE said in March when announcing its plans for the launch of the index.
“We are the first bourse in the region to introduce this index. The Islamic economy posts growth all over the world, not only in the Islamic world. All global bourses have Islamic indices… Local companies and SASE’s Islamic index will be visible in the whole world through our distribution channels,” SASE quoted its director, Tarik Kurbegovic, as saying.
The index will track 25 companies, selected by a list of 177 firms that has been compiled by SASE and BBI to meet the criteria of Islamic principles. In March, SASE said that the companies to be included in the index have an average annual growth rate of 15% to 20%.
“The list of companies that meet the standards, as well the list of companies that participate in the index, are accessible via SASE and BBI bank. We have not made it only for the local community, but also for international community, for the investors all over the world. Our partner is the Istanbul bourse, a global player, so millions of people who are tracking it will see that an Islamic index exists on the Sarajevo bourse… The goal is to attract foreign investors operating in accordance with the Islamic principles,” Kurbegovic also said in the statement.
Amer Bukvic, director of BBI bank, added that the index will help all local companies become visible to global investors.
The Islamic index includes some of the biggest companies listed on SASE. Among them are BH Telecom, Elektroprivreda BiH, Bosnalijek, Elektroprivreda HZ HB, the cement factory Tvornica Cementa Kakanj. Each of the above, except Bosnalijek, have 15% share in the index, while the blue-chip drug maker has a 7.69% share. The shares of the companies included in the index depend on their market capitalization and the turnover with their shares on the bourse.
SASE is one of two bourses operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other is the Banja Luka Stock Exchange.
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