Wahed, a financial investment company that aims to advance financial inclusion through accessible, affordable, and values-based investing, debuted the Nasdaq’s first Shariah-compliant and ESG-aware ETF this week.
The Wahed Dow Jones Islamic World ETF (UMMA) seeks long-term capital appreciation and looks to provide investors access to international, ex-U.S. investments that seek to better align with their values.
The new fund notably expands Wahed’s screening beyond Shariah-compliant or halal constituents by also filtering based on environmental, social, and governance factors. UMMA complements Wahed’s U.S. equity-focused Wahed FTSE USA Shariah ETF (HLAL), which debuted on the Nasdaq in 2019, by seeking to provide U.S. investors with exposure to international securities that meet the Shariah-compliant criteria.
Launched in 2017, Wahed is a financial investment company that aims to advance financial inclusion through accessible, affordable, and values-based investing. The company has made significant in-roads in the world of ethical and halal investing by creating an easy-to-use digital platform with free portfolio recommendations.
Wahed’s services have already attracted over 250,000 customers in the US, UK, Malaysia, and beyond through its website or mobile app.
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The global exposure afforded by UMMA may significantly increase the long-term investment fund landscape for investors whose faith-based restrictions may have been historically limited. The fund will benchmark to the Dow Jones Islamic Market International Titans 100 Index, a data-driven index owned and maintained by S&P Dow Jones Indices, and is designed to measure the stock performance of the largest ex-U.S. companies that have passed rules-based screens for adherence to Shariah investment guidelines.
“We believe our new fund provides investors a highly personalised investing experience that is more true to their theological beliefs,” said Samim Abedi, Chief Investment Officer at Wahed. “The line between ethical, socially responsible, and ESG investing has appeared to blur, and we’re excited to seek to provide investors a vehicle to diversify their portfolio with international investments that align with even more of their beliefs. By bringing these values-based investment principles together, we believe we’re addressing a clear gap in the market for an international shariah-compliant fund managed through an ESG investing lens.”
Wahed is launching UMMA in collaboration with the U.S. Bank’s Listed Funds Trust and Dow Jones. The fund effectively tracks the Dow Jones Islamic Market International Titans 100 Index, an index of the largest non-U.S. companies in emerging and developing nations that meet specific Islamic finance guidelines. Constituents are then screened further utilising RepRisk, a leading ESG data science solution combining machine learning and human intelligence to assess ESG risks. UMMA has an expense ratio of 0.65%.