The performance of Islamic versus conventional stocks during the COVID-19 shock: Evidence from firm-level data

Res Int Bus Finance. 2022 Apr:60:101622. doi: 10.1016/j.ribaf.2022.101622. Epub 2022 Feb 8.


In this study, we extend the recently heated debate that compares the performance of Shariah compliant equities with their non-Shariah compliant counterparts especially during the Covid-19 shock. Unlike the existing literature, which uses stock market index level data to reach controversial conclusions, we use firm-level stock returns data to find robust evidence that Shariah compliant stocks outperformed their conventional counterparts during the Covid-19 market meltdown. More specifically, we find that the prices of Shariah compliant stocks reacted to the increase in Coronavirus confirmed cases and government social distancing measures with lower negative returns than the prices of non-Shariah compliant stocks. Overall, our findings imply that Shariah compliant stocks fared better during the Covid-19 crisis episode.

Keywords: Covid-19; Financial markets; Islamic; Pakistan; Shariah-compliant; Social distancing measures.