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Global sukuk issuances hit Dh31b in 2009
Muzaffar Rizvi (With inputs from Agencies) / 17 May 2010
DUBAI — Global sukuk issuances touched Dh31 billion ($8.5 billion) in 2009 with an increase expected this year as the Islamic bonds worth Dh11 billion ($3 billion) have already been issued across the Gulf Cooperation Council.
The participants of the International Islamic Finance Forum, which opened here on Sunday, said the UAE would remain the cornerstone of the sukuk market in the region. High-level speakers addressed the audience during the forum.
“The sukuk markets will pick up in the coming months. However, governments need to give the Islamic finance industry a stronger framework which could be common around the GCC region,” said HSBC Amanah Director for Capital Markets Mohammed Dawood.
Standard Chartered plans
Standard Chartered PLC plans to arrange more than $4 billion worth of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, globally this year exceeding last year’s figures as confidence and liquidity return to credit markets, said Standard Chartered SAADIQ Head of Islamic Origination Ahsan Ali.
“We arranged more than $4 billion of sukuk last year. We hope to beat last year’s figures,” he said adding that the outlook for Islamic finance remains strong.
Ali said issuers of Islamic bonds will take advantage of better market conditions and levels of liquidity.
“There is a shift towards local currency syndication for corporate issuances or finances. However, authorities need to develop a deep local currency market. It is also witnessed that sukuk growth has been higher in the overall industry,” he said.
GE Capital bond
General Electric Capital Corporation, the finance unit of General Electric Company, may issue its second Islamic bond this year, Aris Kekedjian, President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Capital Middle East and Africa, said.
“It’s possible to issue a bond this year but it all depends on our funding needs. We’ve already financed our needs for this year,” he said. “So if we tap the debt market again we will be financing next year’s projects.”
GE Capital, the world’s biggest non-bank finance company, last year issued $500 million of five-year sukuk, the biggest Islamic bond ever sold by a US company.
US firm to sell $250m sukuk
Unicorn Investment Bank BSC, a closely held Islamic investment bank, is working on a $250 million Islamic debt offering for a US company, Nida Raza, Senior Vice-President of Capital Markets at Unicorn Investment, said.
The Bahrain-based lender plans to finalise the sale for the US company “soon,” Raza said without identifying the issuer. The bank has about $4.5 billion of Islamic debt sales in the pipeline this year, Raza said.
The four-day event will conclude on Wednesday.
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