Friday, May 01, 2009

Podcast interview with Rushdi Siddiqui, head of Islamic finance for Thomson Reuters

Rushdi Siddiqui, the recently appointed global head of Islamic finance for Thomson Reuters, is interviewed by a radio station in Dubai (mp3). He provides his very interesting and relevant opinions on the growth in data about Islamic finance, the controversy about the size of the industry (it depends on which person is the keynote speaker at a given conference, but somewhere between $500 billion and $1 trillion), and increasing the appeal of the industry beyond Muslims to attract new sukuk issuers not motivated by the religious proscription, but viewing sukuk as an attractive alternative to raise money. The interview is highly recommended.

Reuters reports that one of South Korea's largest oil refiners was going to be the first to issue a sukuk with a Malaysian Ringgit-denominated sukuk has been denied by the company. GS Caltex says "We are not considering (an islamic bond). It's just one of many options available".

Standard & Poor's may downgrade several Dubai government linked enterprises if there is no plan created to deal with the maturing of Nakheel's $3.5 billion sukuk due in December. Without putting too much stock in the movement of prices of sukuk in illiquid secondary market, the Nakheel sukuk traded down over 16% in the past week closing at 73. The sukuk is an ijara sale, lease-back with repurchase upon maturity that is based on land and buildings on Dubai's coastline which were given an estimated value of $4.22 billion when the sukuk was issued in December 2006 according to the offering circular.

Terry Lacey argues that the recent Indonesian dollar-denominated sukuk was a success.

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