Employees of Kuwait Finance House recently travelled to Spain to share their knowledge about Islamic banking. There is little Islamic banking in Europe outside of the U.K. although countries like Sweden and France have begun to explore how to develop an Islamic financial industry. The German region of Saxony-Anhalt became the first Western government to issue a sukuk when it issued one for € 100 million in 2004.
Indonesia set the total issue amount of its Rupiah-denominated sukuk at IDR 5 trillion ($538 million). Hong Kong expects to resolve the taxation issues that prevent sukuk in two or three months. Under current tax law, the transfer of assets between the issuer and the SPV would be taxed twice, once when they are purchased by the SPV and again when they are resold to the issuer upon maturity. Initially, the tax changes would be done on a case-by case basis. It could pave the way for the first sukuk, from the Airport Authority, as early as October.
Gulf African Bank, which recently began operating in Kenya, may expand into Uganda and Tanzania, in addition to further expansion within Kenya.