The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Dow Jones Indexes and Dharma Investments to Launch New Faith-based Indexes

By: for Dow Jones Indexes on Jan. 19, 2008
World News

MUMBAI, India, Jan. 15, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Dow Jones Indexes, a leading global index provider, and Dharma Investments, a leading private investment firm pioneering the development of faith-based investment, today announced the launch of the Dow Jones Dharma Indexes. The new indexes measure the performance of companies selected according to the value systems and principles of Dharmic religions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism.

The Dow Jones Dharma Index series includes the Dow Jones Dharma Global Index, as well as four country indexes for the U.S., the U.K., Japan and India. The indexes are designed to underlie financial products such as exchange-traded funds and other investable products that enable investors to participate in the performance of companies which are compliant with Dharmic religious traditions.

"The Dow Jones Dharma Indexes are the first faith-based indexes created to measure Dharma compliant equities. As faith-based and socially responsible investing continues to grow worldwide, our goal is to provide the investment community with the most comprehensive benchmarks that comply with these principles," said Michael A. Petronella, president of Dow Jones Indexes. "The launch of the new Dow Jones Dharma Indexes marks a major step in our effort to further expand our range of faith-based indexes. Dow Jones Indexes pioneered this space by launching the Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes in 1999 -- today the leading Islamic market indexes worldwide."

"We are honored to be serving a demand for faith-based investing," said Nitesh Gor, CEO of Dharma Investments. "India and Asia have made remarkable advances economically over the last few years and in parallel we believe that bringing our religious values onto the global stage offers sustainable solutions to the problems facing the world today. The principle of Dharma contains precepts relevant to good conduct, but also the implicit requirement of mindfulness about the sources of wealth -- and therefore responsible investing," he added. "The Dow Jones Dharma Index brings together a combination of environmental, social, governance and traditional sin sector filters. As such, the Index is unique and will not just have appeal to the religious, but to a far broader audience as well. We are also very grateful to the broad array of the most eminent spiritual leaders within the Dharma religions for their continuing involvement and blessings. Their endorsement of this Index gives us great confidence in its authority and eventual success."

The index universe for the Dow Jones Dharma Indexes is defined as the top 5,000 components of the Dow Jones Wilshire Global Total Market Index as measured by float adjusted market capitalization, and all components in the Dow Jones Wilshire India Index. To be included in the Dow Jones Dharma Indexes, stocks must pass a set of industry, environmental, corporate governance and qualitative screens for Dharmic compliance.

Industry screens include unacceptable sectors and business practices. Environmental screens take account of a company's impact or policies with respect to emissions, climate change and carbon footprint analysis, oil and chemical spills and waste management and recycling. Corporate Governance screens comprise the handling of labor relations/disputes/discrimination allegations, human rights violations, working conditions/wages.

Excluded from the index are companies from sectors that are deemed unacceptable due to the nature of their business activities and operations. Excluded are also companies that have exposure to unacceptable business practices. Some examples of unacceptable sectors are aerospace and defense, brewers, casinos and gaming, pharmaceuticals, tobacco. Some examples for unacceptable business practices are alcohol, adult entertainment, animal testing and genetic modification of agricultural products.

To ensure the quality of the indexes and the integrity of the underlying index methodology, three boards were established to define, build and implement the screening criteria: the Dow Jones Dharma Academic Advisory Committee, the Dow Jones Dharma Supervisory Board and the Dow Jones Dharma Religious Council.

The Dow Jones Dharma Academic Advisory Committee provides guidance and establishes the principles for the methodology. Members include:


Prof. Francis X. Clooney SJ, Parkman Professor of Divinity
and Professor of Comparative Theology, Harvard University;

Dr. Jeevan Deol, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK;

Prof. Gavin Flood, Professor at Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies;

Prof. D. Gold, Lecturer in South Asian Religions, Cornell;

Prof. Richard Gombrich, Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies;

Prof. Pema Gyalpo, Professor of International Relations at
Toin Yokohama University, Japan;

Dr. Peter Harvey, University of Sunderland;

Prof. John Stratton Hawley, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Religion
and Department Chair at Barnard College, Columbia University;

Dr. Kabilsingh, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Religion
at Thammasat University, Bangkok;

Prof. Damien Keowen, University of London;

Prof. Shashiprabha Kumar, Chairperson, Special Centre for
Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi;

Prof. Julius Lipner, Professor of Hinduism and of Comparative
Study of Religion, and Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge University;

Dr. Angelica Malinar, SOAS, Lecturer in Hinduism, Department of
Study of Religions, School of African and Oriental Studies;

Prof. Werner Menski, SOAS, Professor of South Asian Laws,
School of Law, University of London;

Dr. Godavarisha Mishra, Professor in the Department of Indian
Philosophy, University of Madras, Chennai;

Dr. Ved Prakash Nanda, Vice Provost for Internationalization
and a John Evans University Professor at the School of Law,
University of Denver;

Prof. Vasudha Narayanan, Professor of Religion at the
University of Florida and a past President of the American
Academy of Religion;

Prof. Patrick Olivelle, Professor of Sanskrit and Indian
Religions in the Department of Asian Studies at the
University of Texas at Austin;

Prof. Lord Bhiku Parekh, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
and of the Academy of the Learned Societies for Social Sciences,
as well as a Professor of Political Philosophy at the
University of Westminster;

Prof. T.S. Rukmani, Chair of Hindu Studies, Department of
Religion, Concordia University;

Prof. Michael Shackleton, Director of International Studies,
Osaka Gakuin University, Japan;

Dr. Sharada Sugirtharajah, Senior Lecturer in Hinduism at
Birmingham University, UK, and Research Postgraduate
Welfare Tutor;

Dr. Nick Sutton, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies;

Prof. Tom Tillemans, Professor at the Faculty of Letters and
Chair of Buddhist Studies at the University of Lausanne
in Switzerland.

The Dow Jones Dharma Supervisory Committee interprets the principles and creates and implements the screening criteria in accordance with the methodology. Members include:


Dr. Lokesh Chandra, Director of the International Academy of
Indian Culture;

Venerable Khammai Dhammasami, the incumbent of the Oxford
Buddha Vihara -- he heads the International Secretariat for
the UN Day of Vesak based in Bangkok;

Lord Navnit Dholakia OBE DL, served as member of the Commission
for Racial Equality and has been involved in the Sussex Police
Authority, Police Complaints Authority and Howard League for
Penal Reform;

Prof. Gavin Flood, Professor at Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies;

Alfred Ford, a Hindu and philanthropist;

Prof. Richard Gombrich, British Indologist and scholar of
Sanskrit, Pali, and Buddhist Studies;

Prof. Pema Gyalpo, Professor of International Relations at
Toin Yokohama University Japan;

Dr. Kabilsingh, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Religion
at Thammasat University, Bangkok;

Prof. Shashiprabha Kumar, Chairperson, Special Centre for Sanskrit
Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi;

Dr. Ved Prakash Nanda, Vice Provost for Internationalization
and a John Evans University Professor at the School of Law,
University of Denver;

Prof. Vasudha Narayanan, Professor of Religion at the University
of Florida and a past President of the American Academy of Religion;

Dr. V.R. Panchamukhi, Chancellor of the Rashtriya Sanskrit
Vidyapeetha, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh;

Prof. T.S. Rukmani, Chair of Hindu Studies, Department of Religion,
Concordia University;

Venerable Hiek Sopheap, A Royal Monk and Director of the
Association of Buddhists for the environment.

The Dow Jones Dharma Religious Council ratifies and endorses the established guidelines and methodology. Members include:


His Holiness Srimat Vanamamalai Ramanuja Jeeyar Swami, represents
the most popular math belonging to the Tengalai tradition;

His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, heads the Bochasanwasi
Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha of the
Swaminarayana tradition;

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami, leading member and respected
teacher within the International Society for Krisha Consciousness;

Venerable Sangharaja, the Patriarch of Cambodia, Chief Spiritual
Advisor to the King of Cambodia and the most senior of the two
Patriarchs of Cambodian Buddhism;

Jagannath Temple, a Krishna temple located in Orissa (East India);

His Holiness Sri Pejawar Math Swami, one of the most respected
saints of the Madhva faith;

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a spiritual and humanitarian leader,
founder of the International Art of Living Foundation;

Venerable Prof. Dr. Chisho Mamoru Namai, Director of the
Institute of Esoteric Buddhist Culture;

Venerable Dr. Ashin Nyanissara, chancellor of Sitagu International
Buddhist Academy (SIBA).

In 2007, the Dow Jones Dharma Global Index gained 6.21%; the Dow Jones Dharma India Index gained 81.22%, the Dow Jones Dharma Japan Index was down 4.79%; the Dow Jones Dharma U.K. Index was down 10.11%, the Dow Jones Dharma U.S. was down 3.62% in the same time frame.

The Dow Jones Dharma Indexes are weighted by free-float adjusted market capitalization. The indexes are reviewed annually in June. Daily history is available back to December 31, 2002. The Dow Jones Dharma Indexes are calculated in U.S. Dollar (USD), British Pound (GBP), Japanese Yen (JPY) and Indian Rupee (INR). For more information, please visit www.djindexes.com.

Journalists may e-mail questions regarding this press release to PR-Indexes@dowjones.com or contact Dow Jones Indexes/STOXX press office: New York: +1-212-597-5720, Frankfurt: +49-69-29-725-290

Alternatively please contact Sampark Public Relations Renuka Kalyanam, renuka@sampark.com, + 91 9322701774, Nagraj Rao, nagraj@sampark.com, + 91 9821231929

Note to Editors:

About Dow Jones Indexes

A full-service index provider, Dow Jones Indexes develops, maintains and licenses indexes for use as benchmarks and as the basis of investment products. Best known for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Dow Jones Indexes also is co-owner of the Dow Jones STOXX indexes, the world's leading pan-European indexes, and together with Wilshire Associates, provides the Dow Jones Wilshire Global Index family, which is anchored by the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 and covers more than 12,000 securities in 59 markets. Beyond equity indexes, Dow Jones Indexes maintains a number of alternative indexes, including measures of the hedge fund and commodity markets. Dow Jones indexes are maintained according to clear, unbiased and systematic methodologies that are fully integrated within index families. www.djindexes.com

Dow Jones & Company (www.dowjones.com) is a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE:NWS) (NYSE:NWS.A) (ASX:NWS) (ASX:NWSLV) (www.newscorp.com). Dow Jones is a leading provider of global business news and information services. Its Consumer Media Group publishes The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, MarketWatch and the Far Eastern Economic Review. Its Enterprise Media Group includes Dow Jones Newswires, Factiva, Dow Jones Client Solutions, Dow Jones Indexes and Dow Jones Financial Information Services. Its Local Media Group operates community-based information franchises. Dow Jones owns 50% of SmartMoney and 33% of Stoxx Ltd. and provides news content to radio stations in the U.S.

The Dow Jones logo is available at http://www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4578

About Dharma Investments

Launched publicly in January 2008, Dharma Investment's primary mission is the development of Hindu and Buddhist faith-based investing. Dharma Investments brings together a variety of expertise, a deep academic and practical knowledge of the Dharmic religions, investment management, retail and institutional financial product sales and marketing. The company's principle product, the Dow Jones Dharma Index, is designed to fill the requirements of a range of investors Hindus, Buddhists (and potentially Jain's and Sikhs) whose religions have as a central tenet the concept of 'dharma' and will therefore find resonance in the investment premises. Equally a broader range of ethical investors will value the unique combination of traditional 'sin sector', environmental, corporate governance and animal testing screens that are the basis of the Dow Jones Dharma Indexes. The development of the Dow Jones Dharma Indexes marks the collaboration of Dharma Investments, Dow Jones Indexes and leading academics, spiritual leaders and theologians from around the world.

The Dharma Investments logo is available at http://www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4598

CONTACT: Dow Jones Indexes/STOXX
New York:
+1-212-597-5720
Frankfurt:
+49-69-29-725-290

Sampark Public Relations
Renuka Kalyanam
+ 91 9322701774
renuka@sampark.com
Nagraj Rao
+ 91 9821231929
nagraj@sampark.com

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