Islamic investment manager turns to big data and machine learning

Shariah compliant value-based asset manager Arabesque is leveraging on machine learning and big data to analyze and screen companies in compliance with environmental, social and governance (ESG) parameters.

The firm has officially rolled out the Arabesque S-Ray, a new diagnostic tool which processes ESG data points to monitor the sustainability of over 4,000 of the world’s largest corporations. The technology integrates over 200 ESG metrics with news signals from an excess of 50,000 sources across 15 languages. This same technology is used in building the portfolio of Malaysia’s first Shariah ESG fund launched this year, also the first fund in the country to use big data analytics and machine learning technology.

“It is the first tool of its kind to rate companies on the normative principles of the United Nations Global Compact: Human Rights, Labor Rights, the Environment and Anti-Corruption (GC Score),” shared the firm. In addition, companies can also be evaluated based on their performance on financially material ESG issues. “Both scores are combined with a preferences filter that allows anyone to better understand each company’s business involvements and how those activities align with personal values.”


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