A first-of-its-kind “Halal Stock Screener” app, that allows investors to determine if an equity is Shari’ah compliant, has been launched by Wahed Invest.
The app’s launch means that for the first time, ethical and faith-based investors are able to look beyond inflexible mutual funds and expensive institutional Shari’ah certifications. This technology removes yet another barrier to faith-based investing, following research conducted earlier this year that showed that over 50% of British Muslims feel excluded from mainstream financial services providers. The Halal Stock Screener aims to open up Halal investing to a wider audience, including Britain’s nearly three million Muslims, as well as those who wish to invest ethically.
The Halal Stock Screener allows users to search over 50,000 stocks globally and request an analysis to see if they are compliant and ethical in nature, according to the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). The analysis uses real-time data supplied by Thomson Reuters and provides free information, including a company overview, stock pricing, financial ratios, company size, price per share data and estimates, as well as an automated quantitative Halal analysis from leading financial organisations.
Halal investing principles are assured by screening stocks for tobacco, alcohol, firearms, gambling, adult entertainment, non-compliant foods, usurious institutions, excess debt, excess interest and other concerning financial ratios. Stocks are also screened by Wahed Invest’s experts for the presence of interest, or Riba, and all other impermissible sources of income. The app is available to download for free on both Google Play and the Apple App store.
The app also includes a Zakat calculator, allowing users to accurately determine their Zakat annual contribution, which entails donating a portion of one’s wealth to those in need. Zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Junaid Wahedna, Chief Executive Officer at Wahed Invest, said: “With thousands of potential stocks available, it can seem like an impossible task for people to find out if they are investing ethically. The new Halal Stock Screener delivers a fast and easy way to determine if a stock meets a user’s ethical standards. This is a valuable tool for anyone who wishes to invest ethically, especially Muslims who seek to ensure that their investments are Halal.”
Additionally, the Halal Stock Screener app can provide users with an official qualitative Shari’ah certification, and an SRI review of the ethical policies on any stock selected, for £9.99 per stock. The qualitative screening determines compliance based AAOIFI methodology.
Wahed Invest launched the UK’s first Halal online investment platform in August 2018, giving investors access to a globally diversified portfolio of ethically responsible stocks, Islamic bonds and gold for the first time. The company has raised over £12m in funding since inception and is valued at over £75m. Following a successful roll-out in the US and the UK, it will continue expanding into the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) and ASEAN markets.
All securities undergo a rigorous screening process in which the Ethical Review Board and Wahed’s investment management partners work together to tailor portfolios to provide attractive investment returns, which are fully compliant. Wahed Invest is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.