Twitter shares OK for Islamic investment, group finds

Shares in Twitter Inc. have been found eligible for investment by Islamic funds, according to IdealRatings, a company that screens stocks to determine whether they meet Muslim principles.

Stock in the social networking site meets sharia investing rules, IdealRatings says

An illustration picture shows the Twitter logo reflected in the eye of a woman in Berlin, November 7, 2013. Twitter Inc priced its initial public offering above its expected range to raise at least $1.8 billion, in a sign of strong investor demand for the most highly anticipated U.S. public float since Facebook Inc. (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS TELECOMS) - RTX153N2 (Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

Shares in Twitter Inc have been found eligible for investment by Islamic funds, according to IdealRatings, a company that screens stocks to determine whether they meet Muslim principles.

IdealRatings said it had vetted Twitter in response to requests from fund managers and individual investors around the world. The social media company's share price soared in last week's New York Stock Exchange debut after a $1.8 billion initial public offer.

Islamic fund managers follow guidelines such as bans on investment in firms involved with tobacco, alcohol and gambling. Since Islam frowns on monetary speculation, they also shun some companies that use interest payments or have high debt levels.

Sharia investing rules

Twitter joins some other big U.S. technology firms, including Google and Microsoft, in being found compliant with Islamic or sharia principles by IdealRatings, a California-based firm which provides screening services to major fund managers and compilers of equity indexes.

Top stocks which have been found non-compliant include Citigroup, because of its use of interest, and luxury goods group LVMH, because it produces alcohol. IdealRatings has found about 15,000 of the 42,000 securities it has looked at globally to be sharia-compliant, it said.

There were a total of 786 Islamic mutual funds globally with $46 billion of assets under management in September, up from $41 billion at the end of 2012, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Twitter has political significance for many people in the Muslim world because it was used to coordinate mass protests against the autocratic governments toppled by the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

Mohamed Donia, chief executive of IdealRatings, said his company had examined the material on Twitter and decided most was positive for users, including tweets from Islamic scholars.

"There is a lot of content but the majority of content is useful for the community," he said by email on Monday.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.