Thursday, August 30, 2007

Moody's projects growth of Asian-originated sukuk, INCEIF conference

The issuance of sukuk originating in Asia should grow significantly over the next few years as sukuk begin to flow from India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Singapore, Moody's describes in a recent report.

The Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi gave a speech at the INCEIF Global Forum in Kuala Lumpur in which he called for "new Islamic financial products" and looking "towards how to enlarge and strengthen Islamic financial institutions".

Speaking at the same conference, Prince Andrew spoke about how the "UK and Malaysia are pre-eminently well-placed to work together". An article describing the Prince's speech from the UK is available here.

Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, central bank governor at the Bank Negara Malaysia, speaking at the INCEIF conference, described the need for efficiently priced Islamic finance products. One example she provided was pricing ijara sukuk using the rental rate of the underlying asset, which she concluded would lead to prices changing with supply and demand. Her criticism may have been motivated by recent price fluctuations in sukuk which mirrored changes in conventional bond prices as well as a common trend where sukuk returns are benchmarked to an interest rate, frequently the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

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