“Data from Zawya Sukuk Monitor shows that sukuk in the GCC is back on track and the rest of the world is warming up to the benefits of Islamic bonds,” said Adnan Halawi, Senior Sukuk Analyst, Zawya. “October was marked by diversity of issuing countries with major issues from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Indonesia.”
The Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) followed suit by issuing a five-year US$500 million - part of its US$3.5 billion IMTN sukuk program. on October 27. Listed on both the London Stock Exchange and Bursa Malaysia, 54% of the sukuk was allocated to Middle Eastern investors, 34% to Asian investors, while the rest was allocated to buyers from Europe.
The month concluded with Malaysia’s toll-road operator Konsortium Lebuhraya Utara-Timur (Kesturi) issuing an MYR820 IMTN sukuk in the domestic market to redeem an existing sukuk.
In early November, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, or ADIB, the emirate's largest Islamic lender by market value is expected to issue a US$750 million sukuk - part of its US$5 billion sukuk program. This benchmark sukuk will also be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Interesting announcements came from the London-based Gatehouse Bank, which said it is planning to launch a GBP70 million Islamic bond and it might take place as early as November.
The long-delayed US$1 billion Jubail Refining and Petrochemical Company’s sukuk is expected to launch in the fourth quarter. Also from Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Salem Bugshan Group (ASB) is said to be planning to raise as much as US$100 million, selling five-year Islamic bonds to fund projects. In Pakistan, the government may sell around PKR40 billion of sukuk in November.
Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world's largest technology company, initiated a maiden USD100 million (MYR310 million) sukuk via its Malaysian subsidiary HP Multimedia Sdn Bhd by signing an agreement with CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd to formalize the Islamic term financing facility agreement in Kuala Lumpur.
“Apart from these announcements, governments continued to implement regulatory changes and tax amendments to facilitate the issuance of sukuk on the one hand, while countries where sukuk are already issued continue to introduce enhancements to secure a bigger share of the fast-growing Islamic finance industry,” continued Halawi,
Jordan's first ever law covering the issuance of sovereign Islamic sukuk is being finalized and the Cabinet allowed Al Rajhi Group to issue sukuk to expand its investments in the Kingdom. The government requested the group to co-ordinate with the Iftaa Department and to sell the bonds to local banks as a condition for approval of the sukuk.
Amendments to Kazakhstan’s law on Islamic finance and banking are being considered by its parliament and might be adopted within the next two months. Egypt, India, Canada and Australia are also whispered to join the list of issuing countries.
In a bid to maintain its leadership position in the sector, Malaysian Islamic banks are said to be developing a local currency sukuk index to serve as a benchmark for Sharia-compliant fixed income securities. Also in Malaysia, the government plans to let issuers sell to individual investors sukuk that can be traded on the local stock exchange. Bursa Malaysia is working with regulators on rules to enable companies to issue Islamic debt that would be affordable to the public.
In the Gulf, Bahrain Financial Exchange (BFX) announced the launch of its Islamic Finance division with the establishment of 'Bait Al Bursa', marking the creation of the region's first exchange operated platform dedicated to Islamic finance products, while Qatar’s bourse may begin trading bonds and Sukuk in the first quarter of next year.