Saturday, February 04, 2012

Can the GACA sukuk spur a liquid secondary market or will it be held to maturity?

Moody's came out with a few comments on the GACA (Saudi Aviation Authority) sukuk, which is the first sovereign sukuk out of Saudi Arabia.  Moody's describes the sukuk as being a credit positive for Islamic banks in the Kingdom, as well as providing a pricing benchmark for banks and other issuers of sukuk. 

While the issuance of sovereign sukuk is definitely a positive around, if the banks take up the bulk of the issuance, it could hamper the benefit for secondary markets on Tadawul that a large, liquid sukuk would provide because many of the banks would hold the sukuk to maturity.  Some won't hold to maturity (and the 10-year maturity might help ensure that a greater portion eventually decide to sell), and there will hopefully be enough supply (SAR 15 billion or $4 billion) for investors who want to trade the sukuk. 

The development of a pricing benchmark is also a positive if it increases the supply of sukuk.  However, it will help more if the secondary market for the GACA sukuk is liquid because it will make the pricing benchmark more liquid.  It is especially notable that the GACA sukuk is 10-years, and not the more common tenor of 5 years because it will provide a pricing benchmark for longer-tenor sukuk, which have been relatively scarce in the GCC (10-year and longer are more common in Malaysia).


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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post.

Just wondering if you are able to explain the Murabaha leg of the transaction. I found very complicated:(