Niger to set up 150 bln CFA franc debut sukuk programme

Niger's government will establish an Islamic bond programme worth 150 billion CFA francs ($260 million), permitting its first issue of sukuk, with assistance from the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank. Niger's sukuk would be issued over the next five years in two separate transactions worth 75 billion CFA francs each, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) said. The government already has a number of projects that could be financed through sukuk, Amadou Boubacar Cisse, Niger's planning minister, was quoted. Niger would follow Senegal and South Africa, which issued sovereign sukuk for the first time last year; Ivory Coast has been considering a 200 billion CFA franc sukuk issue. Tunisia plans a debut sukuk issue in the third quarter of this year.