Islamic cars may set the Malaysian exchange traded fund (ETF) apart. Proton, the Malaysian auto maker, is teaming up with companies in Turkey and Iran to produce "Islamic cars" for the global market. The idea was proposed by Iran, and the cars will feature a compass to determine the direction of Mecca for prayers, and compartments made for the storing of the Quran and headscarves, according to the Associated Press. The Islamic car is meant for export purposes and Iran will develop an auto that can be manufactured in Turkey, Iran or Malaysia.

Proton, of Malaysia, is a component of iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund (EWM). For years, the company thrived in an environment where high duties were placed on imported autos, but duties have been lowered to a reasonable level in line with a regional trade agreement. More Malaysians have been buying imported cars as a result.  Perhaps exporting the Islamic car will give them an advantage.

EWM is up 38.2% year-to-date.


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