The Financial Times recently provided a short FAQ on sukuk which is a good introduction. As a part of the legal and regulatory environment being changed to accommodate Islamic finance, the Monetary Authority of Singapore revised its banking regulations to clarify its position on istisna'a financing, which was described in the opening remarks at the Singapore Islamic Finance News Roadshow 2010. Business Week notes the planned sukuk issuances, which include a $1.9 billion issue from Saudi Electric Comapny. Ernst & Young also released its World Takaful Report which predicts that the takaful market will surpass $8.8 billion this year.
Dubai Civil Aviation used a new ijara facility in April 2009 to repay a portion of the maturing $1 billion ijara facility that was due at the time. Recently, the first of three equal installment payments of $227 million was paid on this ijara facility, which included three tranches (in Emirati Dirhams, US Dollars and Euros).
- The AFP has an article on UM Financial's new iFreedomPlus MasterCard.
- Kuwait Finance House is exploring investment opportunities in alternative energy over the next two years. It's expansion into Canada through a recent joint venture after amendments to the tax law and was delayed by the credit crisis.
- The International Investment Group, based in Kuwait, has defaulted on its $200 million sukuk and a dissolution event (for the trust) will occur if the sukuk default is not remedied within three days. The IIG sukuk was a mudaraba sukuk and was exchangeable into either shares in IIG or cash and was listed on the NASDAQ Dubai (formerly DIFX) in June 2007.