Bosnia and Hezegovina, Sarajevo – Sarajevo stock exchange announced Monday to adopt an Islamic index rating, a first in the Balkans, which occurs in a context of increasing investments of Gulf monarchies in Bosnia.
“This index is not present only in the Islamic world. All the major stock exchanges of the world have long had their Islamic index. But we are the first exchange in the region that adopted it,” explained Mr. Kurbegovic.
This index (SASX-BBI) brings together 25 local companies which respect the principles of Islam, has detailed the director of the stock exchange of Sarajevo, Tarik Kurbegovic, at a press conference.
Thus, they do not receive nor pay interest rates, and do not operate in areas prohibited by Islam, such as gambling, pornography or the trade of alcohol, tobacco or pork meat.
“With this measure, we put the Sarajevo stock exchange and its business on the map of strategic investors in the world. The halal industry is constantly growing. The average annual increase in Islamic finance is between 15% and 20%,” said Amer Bukvic, the director of Bosna Bank International (BBI), a bank founded in Sarajevo by banks from the Gulf countries.
According to him, investments of Gulf countries in Bosnia will grow “significantly” over the next three to five years.
In recent years, the Gulf businessmen started to invest heavily in the construction of touristic real estate projects or residential areas in Sarajevo and its surroundings. In September, an Emirati company launched the construction work near Sarajevo of what they say to be soon “the largest tourist city in Southeast Europe”.