ETF Trends
ETF Trends

The Middle East continues to see product launches in exchange traded funds (ETFs) and now exchange traded commodities (ETCs).

Reuters reports that ETF Securities will list five precious metal-backed ETCs in the region. They’ve been deemed Shariah-compliant by a panel of Islamic scholars, and the products will hold gold, silver, platinum and palladium, plus one backed by a basket of precious metals.

ETF Securities is a rapidly growing provider of ETCs in Europe, and we spoke with Hector McNeil last month.

Muslims are required to follow strict Islamic standards known as Shariah. Generally, these principles state that Muslims are forbidden to participate in any financial practices or do business with any money-lending entity that charges interest, known as riba; invokes gharar, or uncertainty, most commonly in the form of variable interest rates; or uses funds for maysir, or gambling.

Shariah requires strict rules be followed in the way a Muslim follower lives life and the manner in which commerce is conducted. Businesses involved in advertising or the media are strictly prohibited. Other areas banned include alcohol, gambling, pork, conventional financial services, tobacco, pornography and gold or silver trade. In the Muslim faith, profit from lending money or property rental income is immoral; one must rely on equity and profit to make money.

U.S.-based investors can buy funds on other exchanges through their brokers that have the capability to do so.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.