The Tunisian government is looking to issue the country’s first sovereign Sukuk this year to finance the budget deficit incurred during last year’s uprising. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, the CEO of Al Baraka Banking Group, revealed that the government is currently in talks with banks with regards to a potential issuance. “They are very serious about it,” he added. Al Baraka Bank is also currently consulting the Tunisian government on Islamic finance, although it was not revealed if the bank is also providing consultation on the Sukuk.
It was revealed just yesterday that the Tunisian government is looking to become an Islamic finance hub in Africa, and is set to establish a legal framework to regulate the country’s Islamic finance industry. Hamadi Jebali, the interim prime minister revealed that the country would need US$35 billion to US$45 billion to finance its development projects, and is looking to the IDB for support. Ahmed Mohamed Ali, the president of the IDB, also acknowledged the potential for infrastructure and development projects in the country, and to see the Tunisian private sector play a more significant role in the implementation of the bank's projects in Tunisia and Africa. He also added: “The French Development Agency had recently suggested to the IDB drawing up a microfinance program in Tunisia.”
Libya and Egypt are also ramping up their Islamic finance efforts to fund budget deficits incurred during the uprisings and to finance re-building and infrastructure projects. Libya has also recently revealed its aspirations to create an Islamic finance framework to regulate the country’s fledgling industry.
source: Islamic Finance News