Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Western corporate sukuk; Indonesia retail sukuk

Western companies, especially U.K. and French companies, are considering using sukuk to raise funds. The head of BMB Group Adnan Aziz is quotes as saying, "There is a lot of interest from corporates to issue sukuk. My feeling is that as liquidity in the West gets scarce, they will look into the Middle East".

Indonesia's retail sukuk offering is currently open to new investors through a number of domestic companies. The proceeds from the sukuk will be used to fill a budget deficit. The sukuk, structured as an ijara, will pay 12 percent per year and will have a maturity of 3 years. The finance ministry will not disclose the total issue size, which it says will depend on demand, but Standard Chartered said that IDR 969 billion ($82.365 million), 57 percent of the target issue size of IDR 1.7 trillion ($144 million).

Dubai Islamic Bank, the oldest Islamic bank in the world that recently became embroiled in a corruption scandal, has become a founding member of Hawkamah Institute, a corporate governance organization in the Middle East.

In a press release announcing its rating of Bahrain Islamic Bank, Moody's Investors Service, describes some of the factors that are unique to Islamic banks and affect the rating agencies' ratings of Islamic banks: "The D+ BFSR also captures the restrictions that Islamic banks face in managing their liquidity, growing competition in the domestic, regional and international Shari'ah-compliant banking markets, as well as the reputation risks to which Islamic banks tend to be subject."

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