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Prospects bright for industry in Middle East

Prospects bright for industry in Middle East

While protestors are raging in several Middle Eastern capitals demanding political and economic reforms, regime changes and an end to corruption, there’s been speculation on the impact on Islamic finance.


March 31, 2011 4:51 by

Already investors are reportedly demanding higher returns for sukuk and average yields for sukuk originated in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have risen by between 40 to 50 basis points.

However, the reality remains that sukuk issuances remain heavily oversubscribed. For instance, Bahrain, which has seen almost regular daily demonstrations, continues to attract investors for its regular short-term sukuk Al-Salam and Sukuk Al-Ijara issuances.

According to the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), the monthly issue of the Sukuk Al-Salam Islamic securities issued by the CBB on behalf of the government of Bahrain on February 28 was well oversubscribed, with subscriptions worth $125 million received for the $31.8 million issuance, which carries a maturity of 91 days. The expected return on the issue, which began on March 2 and matures on June 1, is 0.8 per cent.

Similarly, the monthly issue of the short-term Sukuk Al-Ijara earlier in February was oversubscribed by 680 per cent, with subscriptions worth $180.3 received for the $26.5 million issue, which carries a maturity of 182 days. The expected return on the issue, which began on Febraury 17 and matures on August 18, is 0.92 per cent.

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