Shariah-Compliant Portfolio Management: A More Suitable And Balanced Risk-Return Matrix?

19 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2013

See all articles by Amit Jain

Amit Jain

City University London - The Business School

Date Written: June 1, 2012


The subject study requires the screening of FTSE100 constituents for Shariah compatibility in qualitative as well as quantitative criteria, constructing synthetic portfolios basis outlines provided and mapping past three years performance of such portfolios versus those of the FTSE100 and FTSE Islamic indexes. The FTSE, Dow Jones and MSCI Islamic indexes were formed not long ago to cater to a growing Muslim investor segment that seeks to invest in Shariah-compliant investments (FTSE-MENA 2008, Dow Jones, FTSE and MSCI). Banks and financial institutions otherwise have been recognised to have much earlier created investment avenues for the Muslim population (Sole, J, 2007). As such, Shariah-compliant, or Islamic, finance and investment have developed tremendously in past many years. According to several research studies and surveys by many organisations and individuals, some of which include Novethic (2009) and RREEF (2008), the industry has grown by an annual average of 18%-20% in the past decade itself. These studies provide the estimated current size of the Islamic finance industry close to USD One Trillion, and growing; expected to touch USD 1.1 Trillion by the end of the year (Standard Chartered, 2012). A survey by BDO (2009) suggests similar levels of growth continuing over the coming years as expected by industry professionals, which could very well take its scope beyond the trillion dollar mark within a short period of time.

At the same time however, and unsurprisingly enough, the Islamic finance industry comes with its own set of issues currently being grappled with as identified by McMillen, M (2011), inter alia. While these issues are being tackled, it seems worthwhile to validate the various claims that Islamic investment makes as a safer and more feasible investment alternative as opposed to its conventional contemporaries. Hussein, K (2004) undertook one such study and successfully highlighted this phenomenon to be true, at least in one straightforward technical measure. On the other hand Kraussl, R and Hayat, R (2008) found that “…Islamic Equity Funds (IEF) are underperformers compared to Islamic as well as to conventional equity benchmarks”; and that “...IEF managers are bad market timers”. We undertake this study to validate whether Shariah-compliant methods in finance truly provide a more conducive and balanced risk-return sketch on the global investment canvas, as opposed to that witnessed with the conventional counterpart. While the scope of the study is limited to a marginal sample size of only three years financial data, we do in fact find that from a risk-adjusted perspective Shariah-compliant investment appears to be a better investment alternative. Following that, underlying questions to the coursework are attempted to be answered in parts throughout the paper, and summarised in conclusion.

Keywords: Islamic Portfolio Management, Shariah, Shariah Compliant, Islamic Finance, Islamic Derivatives

Suggested Citation

Jain, Amit, Shariah-Compliant Portfolio Management: A More Suitable And Balanced Risk-Return Matrix? (June 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Amit Jain (Contact Author)

City University London - The Business School ( email )

106 Bunhill Row
London, EC1Y 8TZ
United Kingdom

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