Hong Kong is the latest country to have formally entered the hot Islamic finance market, now that the Hang Seng Islamic China Index Fund has been given the go-ahead, reports Andrew Wood at the Financial Times. With all this interest, could an Islamic exchange traded fund (ETF) be far behind?

Islamic funds have been doing well these days and invest according to the principles of Islamic law. They avoid companies that charge interest or carry a lot of debt, and they also don’t invest in companies that make alcohol, pork-related products or are involved in gambling.

The Islamic finance market is estimated to be worth about $500 billion, according to Standard & Poor’s, and there’s room for yet more growth as Muslims look to invest in companies that are in line with their religious beliefs.

London has plans to launch the first western government Islamic bond, and Japan has also expressed some interest. Is the U.S. next?

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