22/03/2018 08:11 AST

Qatar’s first Shari’a-compliant exchange traded fund and arguably, the largest single-country Shari’a compliant ETF in the world was listed on Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) yesterday. The Al Rayan Qatar ETF (stock exchange ticker: QATR) traded more than QR56m on its debut which accounted for 20 percent of total exchange volumes on the day.

To mark the launch of the ETF, the bourse yesterday welcomed the fund’s founder, Masraf Al Rayan, and fund manager, Al Rayan Investment, to open trading. The Fund will track the QE Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) which is comprised of large and medium sized, Shari’a-compliant, listed Qatari companies.

“As an exchange we’re delighted that the world’s largest single-country Islamic ETF is available to trade exclusively in Doha. Al Rayan Investment has a strong reputation in asset management locally and the index itself makes for a Shari’a-compliant investment strategy and diversification for QSE investors,” said Rashid Ali Al-Mansoori, CEO of the Qatar Stock Exchange.

The ETF that seeks to track the performance of the ‘QE Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price)’ provides investors diversified exposure to Qatari equities. Over the last five years, QE Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) has outperformed the conventional ‘QE Index’ by more than 13 percent; over ten years the outperformance is in excess of 75 percent.

“Masraf Al Rayan, is a forerunner of developing local capital markets by introducing new and innovative products such as Al Rayan Qatar ETF” said Dr. Hussain Ali Al Abdulla, Chairman and Managing Director of Masraf Al Rayan, “and this marks only one of our few initiatives with the exchange”.

“Having the largest Shari’a-compliant single country ETF in the world is a testament to the trust our clients have in Masraf Al Rayan. We are extremely grateful for the support of our investors and look forward to the success of QATR and the Qatari capital markets,” said Adel Mustafawi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Masraf Al Rayan.

Haithem Katerji, Chief Investment Officer of Al Rayan Investment commented: “After a considerable period of work behind the scenes we are very proud to have launched QATR today. We have given all investors access to an excellent investment product which currently has a dividend yield of more than 5 percent. The best way to invest across Qatari shares is via QATR.”

Commenting on the debut performance of the fund, Akber Khan, Senior Director-Asset Management Group, Al Rayan Investment said: “We saw a very strong investor interest in QATR…. QATR is the most efficient way for an investor to gain diversified exposure to large and medium sized Qatari companies with the simplicity of buying even just one share.”

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