Saturday, February 11, 2012

GACA sukuk is repo-eligible and has a zero risk weighting

It sounds like the GACA sukuk (issued by the Saudi aviation authority and backed by the government) could indeed spark a more liquid sukuk secondary market in the country with the sukuk being able to be used in repo transactions (unclear whether these would be Shari'ah-compliant repo transactions or repos by conventional banks using the sovereign sukuk as collateral). 

However, the zero percent risk weighting (from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA)) could lead many financial institutions to hold onto the sukuk to maturity, or to not necessarily trade it actively.  However, I think that the size of the sukuk ($4 billion) should give the hold-to-maturity investors enough supply while leaving enough available for investors to buy and sell when they want to sell or buy corporate sukuk, giving the prospects for the Tadawul (where I would expect it to be listed) to become a much more liquid sukuk secondary market

As I have written earlier, I am not usually impressed by the "biggest" or "first" qualifier for sukuk, but I think this one ("it is also billed as the largest sovereign guaranteed issuance in emerging markets in the last ten years" and is also the first Saudi sovereign sukuk) is different because it could lead to follow-on offerings from other agencies in the Saudi government, as well as by corporate issuers who might be drawn in if the secondary market becomes sufficiently liquid to provide a reliable benchmark. 

1 comment:

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