Index Provider STOXX Caters to European Christian Investors

Christian investors avoiding the pitfalls of the financial crisis are seeking for moral investment choices, leading one index provider to launch this week a stock index for Christians.

STOXX Europe Christian Index launched on April 26, grouping together companies including BP, HSBC, Nestlé, Vodafone, and Royal Dutch Shell, which have business practices that they believe comply with Christian moral doctrine.

"With the launch of the STOXX Europe Christian Index, STOXX acknowledges the growing number of Christian market participants who wish to invest in accordance with their religious beliefs," said STOXX Ltd. Chief Executive Hartmut Graf, whose company has recruited experts from the Christian community, including those from the Vatican, academia and the investment community to screen the stocks as an independent committee.

The screening process, according to STOXX, measures the amount of company revenues generated from pornography, weapons, tobacco, alcohol, birth control, and gambling. The index excludes companies that do not pass requirements.

"The new index provides a broad representation of European companies who act responsibly on an ethical, environmental, social and economical level; and are therefore in-line with Christian values," Graf said.

STOXX Ltd. is a global index provider, currently calculating a global, comprehensive index family of over 2,500 strictly rules-based and transparent indices.

The company, owned by Deutsche Börse AG and SIX Group AG, has been in operation since 1998.