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Islamic index is launched by exchange

ISTANBUL: Turkey's Istanbul Stock Exchange yesterday launched an index comprising 30 listed companies that comply with Sharia banking principles as the country seeks to attract interest in its burgeoning Islamic finance sector.

The Participation Index will include discount retailer BIM, Turk Telekom and the main landline operator and builder Enka Insaat, said Avsar Sungurlu, deputy chief executive officer of Bizim Securities, which is consulting for the index.

Bank Asya, an Islamic participation bank, and Emlak Konut, a real estate trust, are also among the index's major holdings, Sungurlu said.

Turkey has four Islamic banks, part of a small but growing sector that offers Sharia-compliant finance aimed at boosting investment from the Middle East.

Lender Kuveyt Turk last year held the first issue of a three-year $100 million Islamic bond, or sukuk, known as a participation certificate.

The government has also issued revenue-indexed bonds linked to transfers to the Turkish Treasury from state companies, like the Turkish Petroleum Corporation and State Airport Authority.



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