Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Sukuk to rebound in second quarter?

Shari'ah scholar Dr. Hussain Hamid Hassan says that there will be "several sukuk issues hitting the market within months". The sukuk market has been struggling in the past year as economic and credit market conditions have been challenging. Most recently, sukuk issues fell 37% in the 1st quarter of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008 according to Zawya. The Islamic Development Bank plans issuance of $5 billion in sukuk over the next five years for new programs. The issue will be phased in $500 million initially with a goal of raising $1 billion each year.

The first salary and bonus survey was published for the Islamic financial industry. William Allum, the head of Napier Scott's Middle East practice which conducted the survey pointed out:
"We are seeing pay scale differentials favouring Islamic Banking because of a shortage of skilled, experienced staff. A managing director in Sharia'a structuring, for example, can expect to receive a combined salary and bonus of Pounds 275,000, whereas a similar post in say Russia would attract Pounds 200,000, a significant different [sic]."

Other News
  • Assets in the Islamic finance industry could reach $1.6 trillion by 2012 according to Oliver Wyman.
  • Another Islamic finance company is launching in Sri Lanka, First Barakah Investments Ltd.
  • India's first Shari'ah-compliant mutual fund was launched with Rs. 50 million (about $1 million) in assets.
  • The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich's International Relations and Security Network, partially funded by the Swiss government, has an article on Islamic finance that provides a description of the industry and includes the arguments of some critics of the industry.
  • The Islamic Bank of Thailand's debut sukuk issue will be for $200 million.
  • Jordan will issue its first sovereign sukuk.
  • The Qatar Islamic Bank is starting a European sukuk fund.
  • The Bank of London and the Middle East plans a listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2010.

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