Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria Shine in Q108

April 14, 2008 ( - Equity markets in Morocco, Egypt, and Nigeria delivered the highest returns during the first quarter of 2008 in investments deemed to comply with Islamic law.

A news release said that was the latest performance of the Standard & Poor’s Global Benchmark Shariah Index Series. At the losing end of the spectrum, Shariah-compliant equities in Turkey, China, and India suffered the largest declines over the quarter.

During the first quarter of 2008, Shariah-compliant equities in Morocco returned 34.45% on a total return basis, followed by Egypt (18.93%), and Nigeria (13.42%). In Turkey, Shariah-compliant stocks fell by 26.67%, followed by China (-26.57%), and India (-26.43%).

the Standard & Poor’s Global Benchmark Shariah Index Series screens more than 12,000 stocks from 52 developed and emerging markets as well as 10 GICS (Global Industry Classification Standard) sectors.

“Islamic investors seeking a structured approach to investment now have the ability to measure their performance according to strict geographic and sector preferences,” says Alka Banerjee, Vice President of Index Services at Standard & Poor’s, in the news release. “The launch of these new country and sector indices completes the rollout of the S&P Global Benchmark Shariah Index Series, which now covers more than $34 trillion of the world’s market capitalization.”