Marketing an Islamic index: Perceived value of KMI30 index
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to understand if there is a customer perceived value for shareholders in investing in Islamic stocks, by using KMI30 index of Karachi Stock Exchange as a case study. The findings are then used to devise a conceptual model, highlighting the value of an Islamic branded index and for companies included on the index for market participants, Shari'ah-compliant firms, and governments.
Design/methodology/approach - This is an exploratory research paper. A detailed literature review is followed by a quantitative analysis of the return series of 18 constituents of the KMI30 index. The analysis looks at performance before and after the launch of the index, to identify if inclusion on the Islamic index has impacted the average returns and volatility of the constituents and if it is considered as value added by the investors.
Findings - Analysis reveals that the KMI30 index is marginally less volatile than the KSE100 index and has relatively better returns, even in the most volatile times at the Karachi Stock Exchange. Most of the constituents under analysis have posted better returns after inclusion on the index, with 40 per cent of them showing less volatility. Though the trends are not clearly visible, there is an indication of increased returns and reduced volatility, both in the Islamic index and its constituents.
Research limitations/implications - This study is the first step in analyzing if shareholders perceive inclusion of a company on the Islamic index as value added, resulting in increased share prices, better returns, and decreased volatility. Due to the lack of literature on the subject, the nature of the study is exploratory. Further analysis is required to understand if the changes in returns and volatility are due to investor perceptions. This study has implications for the organizations to understand the perception of investors about including companies on the Islamic index. If investors attach value to this proposition then it will be worthwhile for companies to invest resources in making their organization Shari'ah compliant and marketing it from that perspective. Additionally, this study will add to the knowledge of the regulators regarding whether the Islamic index is achieving its objectives of providing investment opportunities to investors offering better returns with less risk, besides being "Halal".
Originality/value - There is a lack of studies that look at Islamic investments from the marketing perspective. Also, to the best of the authors' knowledge, no studies have analyzed the KMI30 index, either from a finance or marketing perspective. This study is the authors' contribution to the interdisciplinary body of knowledge and ever-increasing literature on emerging markets in the context of Islamic investments.
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