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Shariah Compliant Stocks in Saudi Arabia

What are Shariah Compliant Stocks? Source: blog.islamicly.com

What are Shariah Compliant Stocks?

Shariah Compliant stocks are ones which are complying with the Shariah standards set up by the Shariah Scholars. If a stock passes the set Shariah screening criteria is known as Shariah Compliant stock. Shariah Guidelines for Trading and Investment in Stocks The first question arises in our mind whether the stocks listed on stock exchanges are allowed for trading in Islam?

The Answer is Yes!

Any stock listed on any stock exchange is allowed for trading if the stock complies with the Shariah principles set out by Renowned Shariah Scholars. The second question arises what are the guidelines and principles for Investments in accordance with Islam. Islam prohibits interest, sales of alcohol, sales of pork, conventional banking & Insurance and other activities contradicting Shariah Law.

In the current scenario, finding companies that are not involved in activities prohibited by Islam for investments is almost impossible. Thus Shariah scholars have set up a few norms and standards to screen stocks for purposes.

What is Shariah Screening?

Shariah screening is a process of screening stocks in accordance with the Shariah screening criteria developed by Shariah scholars.

Any stock dealing with prohibited activities by Islam is out of Shariah Compliant investments.

Stock screening is based on two main pillars.

One is sector screens and another one is accounting screens.

What are the Prohibited Activities?

Screening of Prohibited items is known as sector screens. These items are mentioned below:

1- Conventional Banking & Insurance

2- Conventional financial & Capital Market

3- Interest-bearing investments in shares and debts

4- Sales of pork, Alcohol and tobacco, music CDs

5- Adultery & pornography

6- Advertising

7- Media and entertainment

Any company involved in the above activities and the revenue from them exceeds 5% is out for investment.

If the revenue from such activities is below 5% of total income, then the stock will be further evaluated for Accounting Ratios.

What are the Accounting Ratios for Shariah Compliant Investments?

The accounting Ratios are nothing but to limit the interest-bearing debts and investments.

As mentioned earlier, Islam does not allow a small portion of investments and liabilities involving interest but in the current fashion, this is hard to find such companies that are free from such elements. Thus renowned Shariah scholars and experts in Islamic finance have set us accounting ratios to limit the interest-bearing investments as well as borrowings. There are 4- 5 shariah screening criteria but the famous and widely accepted criteria by most of the scholars in the industry are S&p Shariah Screening criteria.

The accounting ratios for S&p Shariah Screening criteria are based on Leverage compliance and Cash ComplianceLeverage ComplianceDebt + borrowings / Market Value of Equity (36month average) < 33 %Cash Compliance

i- (Cash + Interest Bearing Securities) / Market value of Equity (36 month average) < 33%

ii- Accounts Receivables / Market value of Equity (36 month average) < 49 %

If any stock passes the sector screens as well as the financial screens, the investment in such stock is perfectly allowed.

What are Shariah Compliant/Halal stocks ?

In Arabic, Halal means allowed. Halal investment, halal stocks or Islamic stocks refer to allowed stocks or investments with respect to shariah law and those investments pass the guidelines passed by the shariah advisory board for investments.

What is Shariah Compliance/What are the Principles of Islamic Investment?

All banking or financing activity should be done according to shariah law which is also called as Shariah-compliant financing or Islamic financing. To say any financial company as compliant to shariah law then they must satisfy all the below criteria:

  • The total debt of an organization should be less than 33% of the equity
  • With respect to their total assets, their receivables should be less than 49%
  • They should not receive more than 5% in the form of interests as cash or any interest-bearing security bonds.

Along with the above-said conditions, they should not have investment more than 5% on any of the mentioned categorical business:

  • Tobacco, alcohol or pork-related products
  • Entertainments like hotels, pornography, gambling, music or movies, theatres
  • Conventional financing services like banking or insurance
  • Defence or weapons
  • Any kind of engineering
  • Biotechnological institutions which are related to any kind of human or animal

How can I do Halal investing as a beginner?

Before starting to invest in any stocks, bonds, or on any financial institutes one should check the financial performance of that organization/Institute of at least 3 years, debts, dividend, and profit shares. If you are looking for Shariah-compliant investments or halal investment then you need to check whether the company has been screened for Shariah compliance.

Investing in Shariah-compliant stocks or buying bonds is comparatively having high risk, as well as the ROI on those investments, are also too high than conservative stocks.

Benefits of investing in Halal stocks:

All the investments in stocks or bonds made according to Islamic principles get more benefits for both Muslims and non-Muslims. Islamic investment or Halal investments reinforce a systematic investment process that encourages high security, researched and monitored investments. Generally, the low debt requirements of Islamic screens facilitate a conservative approach that appeals to risk-averse investors.

Halal investments won’t encourage short term speculation and few of the Islamic scholars explains that frequent trading of high portfolio stocks might be a type of gambling which is Haram or against Shariah law. Trading in a low frequency reduces the expenses which include brokerage, taxes and other taxable capital gains.

Limiting venture decisions to a littler universe implies that a halal portfolio may not be as enhanced as different portfolios, which may expand the danger of misfortune. The profits from different market divisions’ rise and fall at various occasions. Islamic standards may restrict chances to pick up when denied advertise segments, for example, monetary administrations, and rally.

Since Islamic principles retrain the use of interest-bearing investments, halal cash reserves cannot be deposited in conventional money market funds or invested in an interest-earning bank account and hence do not earn income.

Performance of Shariah-compliant stocks vs non-shariah-compliant stocks of Saudi Market

In the region of Saudi Arabia, the demand for shariah-compliant stocks is growing vastly than non-compliant or conventional stocks. The Shariah-compliant index tracks all the companies that are abiding by Shariah compliance principles and should pass the litmus test to qualify themselves as a shariah-compliant company from the Shariah screening authorities and Islamic scholars who screens the companies financial ratios and industries.

Investors in Saudi Arabia and other parts of GCC countries are concerned and ready to invest in Shariah-compliant companies and stocks than conventional stocks and non-shariah compliant companies to safeguard their money as well as to get the best return on their investments.

With regard to the comparison between the conventional and Islamic stock markets in terms of efficiency, we note that the weak efficiency hypothesis is well verified in the Islamic context that in the conventional context. So we can conclude that Shariah stock markets are relatively more efficient in terms of informational efficiency than their conventional counterparts. Moreover, due to the existence of deteriorating changes in the time-varying predictability index of all Islamic stock markets in times of financial crisis, we can conclude that Shariah screened markets are not fully immunized against effects of the financial crisis and the strong financial delicacies.

indices outperforming their conventional competitors in terms of informational efficiency while others are less effective in terms of volatility level. As demonstrated that Islamic stock markets are vulnerable to the global financial crisis and ensure the stability of Islamic stock markets during economic and financial uncertainty periods.

Our practical results point out that the general belief that Islamic financial markets are immune from the negative impact of financial shocks because of its nature without interest flawed. For which it is important that stakeholders, policymakers and even academics and Sharia’s researchers must work together to endow Islamic financial markets with appropriate techniques and tools in order to mitigate the impact of financial shocks on Islamic markets.

How do you find Shariah Compliant Stocks for Saudi Market?

It is not that easy to find the stocks which are compliant to shariah protocols. To enable the Islamic investors to invest in the stocks which are Shariah market, we have come up with an app/mobile application “Islamicly” where people around the world will be able to check the status of the market in their respective markets as well as the shariah compliance stocks. Also, the app allows them to create their own portfolio where they can add their stocks to have a quick look at their performance. Islamicly app helps the investors/customers in reducing there valuable time on searching the shariah-compliant stocks in Saudi Arabia.

Shariah Compliant Stocks in Saudi Arabia:

Tadawul, astock exchange in Saudi Arabia is also called as a Saudi Stock exchange. Under Tadawul 219 companies have registered to trade their company stocks. There are around 15 components/sector/industry (Banks & Financial Services, Petrochemical Industries, Cement, Retail, Energy & Utilities, Agriculture & Food Industries, Telecommunication & Information Technology, Insurance, Multi-Investment, Industrial Investment, Building & Construction, Real estate and property development, Transport, Media and Publishing and Hotel & Tourism) where an individual can invest in any of his interest.

To get the best return on the investment, an individual should always look into the performance of any stocks/companies earlier performance as well as the performance during the financial crisis. But most of the companies perform badly during the financial crisis whereas Shariah-compliant stocks perform better even during the financial crisis. Below are the details of both Shariah and non-shariah compliant stocks and sectors data

Number of stocks in Saudi Arabia: 202*

Number of Shariah-compliant stocks in Saudi Arabia: 157*

Percentage of compliant stocks over total stocks: 77.72%*

*Data as of June 13th, 2019

If you are an investor or wish to take an active part in investing in Shariah-compliant stocks, our Islamicly app will help you in finding the best match for you in your market/country. Click below to download our app to get the stock results in your market.

Here is the link to download Islamicly App

Do watch what one of the pioneering scholar of Islamic finance says about Islamicly here: