This was supposed to be the year of the rise of sukuk markets. As the Malaysian economy recovered and the Arab spring passed, another record year of sharia-compliant debt issuance was predicted.
But that changed after a day in May. Ben Bernanke dropped hints that the Fed would taper its bond-buying programme, and sukuk sales shrivelled in the third quarter. The number of issues this year is expected to be just above that of 2011. Continue reading »
The UK’s decision to launch an Islamic bond has been a long time coming. For a decade the prospect has been raised at the many Islamic finance conferences that have been held in London; Ed Balls, when he was City of London minister, announced the first Shariah-compliant government bonds from the UK Treasury back in April 2007.
The rationale then, as now, was to bolster London’s standing as an international financial centre. The logic then, as now, was that London ought to offer everything it can to financial markets, and that if launching a sovereign sukuk bond helps to create a benchmark for others to issue against, then that’s what it should do so as not to miss out. Continue reading »
By Chiara Francavilla of This is Africa
Morocco is finalising a new securitisation law that will allow the state and companies to issue sukuk, the Islamic equivalent of bonds. Preparations for a corporate and a sovereign sukuk are already underway, according to Islamic finance experts. Continue reading »
Tunisia is hoping that the country’s first government sukuk, or Islamic bond, scheduled for later this year could spur companies in the North African country to raise Islamic debt and boost its sharia-compliant finance industry, writes Camilla Hall.
The government is working alongside the Islamic Development Bank – the multilateral lender – to pave the way for a 1bn dinar ($700m) sukuk sale that would set a benchmark for companies seeking to tap the Islamic debt markets, Elyes Fakhfakh, finance minister, told the Financial Times. Continue reading »
April looks set to be a busy time for the IMF. Two crucial meetings have been put in the diary – one with Tunisia, and one with Egypt (again).
The two potential deals have a lot at stake, and not just in monetary terms. Tunisia’s possible $1.7bn loan will help shield the country from the European downturn. Egypt’s on-off $4.8bn loan is even more important, as it should unlock other sources of funding, and avert what could become a complete collapse of the economy. Continue reading »
Egypt’s continued political turmoil has made its life hard in international debt markets, but its government is hoping to secure new funds by less conventional means through the issue of the country’s first sovereign Islamic bonds.
According to a Bloomberg report, the government plans to raise up to $1bn by June through sukuk sales, with one for domestic investors and one for foreign investors. Continue reading »
Last year was supposed to represent the pivotal moment in which sukuk debt – Islamic versions of bonds – came into their own as a deep, mature and liquid source of funding.
Issuance data from January suggest the jury is still out. Continue reading »
By Simeon Kerr and Camilla Hall
People close to Dana Gas, the Sharjah-based natural gas company, say creditors including funds Blackrock and Ashmore have agreed to a standstill that would allow talks over extending the maturity of its $920m sukuk to continue through the deadline of midnight on Wednesday.
But people aware of the creditors’ position “categorically deny” that a standstill agreement has been reached with Dana Gas, whose revenues have been interrupted in troubled operating environments including Egypt and Iraqi Kurdistan. Continue reading »
It’s no fun being a bond investor these days. You either invest in safe havens like US and German bonds and get a negative return, or go on adventure in countries like Spain and can’t be sure you’ll get your money back.
So the emergence of Shariah compliant sukuk offers an appealing middle way. With the London 2012 Sukuk Summit being held on June 6 and 7, beyondbrics reviews the latest developments in the market. Continue reading »
By Ghassan Chehayeb of Exotix Limited
A showdown is brewing in Sharjah, the UAE’s third largest emirate. Sharjah-based Dana Gas, a natural gas-focused E&P company, has a $920m sukuk due in five months, yet the issuer is far short of the required funds to repay the obligation. The sukuk’s price has fallen from above 95 in July 2011 to just 68, as restructuring headlines continue to spook investors. Continue reading »