Sukuk

DEAL: MENA region's first Reit #sukuk

Emirates REIT has issued the first sukuk by a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the MENA region. It's also the first REIT from the region to have a credit rating (BB+). REITs have not traditionally issued sharia-compliant bonds, and have instead preferred to tap conventional debt markets for their financing needs. The only previous issuance of this type was in Malaysia in 2014, when KLCC REIT sold $930 million of Islamic bonds. This new issuance was hosted by The Irish Stock Exchange and relied on underlying wakala and murabaha contracts. The entire timeline of the deal was less than two months. This was to ensure Emirates Reit didn’t miss the favourable issuance window. Standard Chartered Bank acted as sole global coordinator, ratings advisor and joint lead manager of the sukuk issuance.

Global #sukuk issuance jumps 45.3% to $98bn in ’17: S&P

According to Standard & Poor’s (S&P), global sukuk issuance increased 45.3% year-on-year to $97.9bn in 2017. This performance was primarily driven by good liquidity conditions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. S&P head of Islamic Finance, Dr Mohamed Damak said the outlook for sukuk in 2018 looked uncertain. He added that tighter global liquidity conditions, mounting geopolitical risks and slow progress on the standardisation of Islamic finance products would continue to hold the market back. The US Federal Reserve is expected to increase rates by 75 basis points. Central banks in the GCC countries would probably mirror such an increase due to the peg of their currencies with the US dollar. Regarding retail sukuk, the agency believes that development of this part of the market necessitates a specific regulatory framework. Retail sukuk issuance has been successful in some countries where authorities provided a tax incentive to drain a portion of the savings toward this market.

A #bond dispute threatens the future of Islamic finance

Dana Gas stocks rose by 13.2% on Christmas Day 2017, to complete a buoyant six months for the stock. This may be due to the company's arbitration victory against the regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan, over $2bn it and its consortium partners are owed in overdue payments. It also hints at shareholders’ belief that Dana will not be forced soon to satisfy its own creditors. The firm refused to honour its $700m sukuk bond claiming that it no longer complied with sharia law, therefore was 'unlawful' in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In November a British court ruled that the company had to pay. The judges said that, because the bond was issued under English law, it had to be viewed on its merits under that law alone. The risk of non-compliance in the UAE, they argued, must fall squarely on Dana. The Islamic-finance industry cheered this ruling. However, to get hold of Dana’s domestic assets, creditors need a new ruling from the UAE courts. The Dana saga is a reminder not just that Islamic finance still lacks shared standards, but also that court judgments help creditors only when they are enforceable.

#Sukuk: An alternative economic model in #Nigeria

The growth in Sukuk’s popularity can be traced back to the global financial crisis in 2008. Since then, several sovereign and sub-sovereign bonds were issued under Islamic principles. In Africa it is Kenya that has commited to positioning itself as a regional Islamic finance hub. Finance Minister Henry Rotich outlined the steps as part of the country’s 2017/2018 budget aiming to level the playing field between Islamic and interest-based transactions. The primary objective is to prepare the groundwork for a sovereign sukuk but also to attract corporate sukuk from the region. Nigeria’s seven-year N100bn Sukuk bond offers an avenue for a competitive alternative to the conventional banking system and a path towards sustainable economic recovery.

#Iran Seven-Year #Sukuk #Issuance at $3.7b

Seven years ago the Law of Developing Financial Instruments and Entities was passed in the parliament. Since then, more than $ 3.76 billion worth of Islamic sukuk have been issued in the Iranian capital market according to the chief executive of the Capital Market Central Asset Management Company.
"From the fiscal 2010-11 up to the end of the ninth month of the current fiscal year, 47 kinds of sukuk worth more than 157 trillion rials have been released in the capital market, 17 of which worth $ 311.7 million have come to maturity," Gholamreza Abutorabi was also quoted as saying by the official website of the company: "The amount of installments and the original amount of these matured bonds have been reimbursed".
According to the CEO, 30 kinds of active sukuk worth $ 3.5 billion are currently in use and are being traded, whereas two other kinds worth a total of $ 89.9 million belonging to two companies will come to maturity. From the beginning of the current fiscal year on March 20 until now, more than $ 407.6 million worth of installments pertaining to various kinds of sukuk have been received by intermediary financial companies.

Halk REIT issues #Turkey's first #sukuk

Halk Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) has issued Turkey's first sukuk with a nominal value of TL 100 million ($26.12 million) through Halkinvest. The return of the 87-day lease certificate will be realized at 13.25% at the end of the maturity period. Halk REIT General Manager Feyzullah Yetgin said that the widespread use of real estate-based financial products would make a great contribution to the real potential of the sector. Halkinvest General Manager Serdar Sürer said that the lease certificate issuance transaction executed on behalf of Halk REIT was their 60th capital market issuance transaction this year. He also said that they would continue to add value to their business partners with products based on the real economy.

CIMB Islamic plans RM10b #sukuk, gets AAAIS rating from MARC

Malaysian Rating Corporation (MARC) has assigned a preliminary rating of AAA with a stable outlook to CIMB Islamic Bank's proposed RM10 billion senior Sukuk Wakalah Programme. MARC said the sukuk wakalah would provide an additional platform to raise liquidity for the bank should it need to strengthen its funding base. The rating agency added that the bank would be able to utilise its existing Basel III Tier-2 Junior Sukuk Programme to support its capital position when required. CIMB Islamic’s existing sukuk issuances, rated and affirmed by MARC with a stable outlook are as follows: an RM5 billion Tier 2 Junior Sukuk programme at AA+IS and its RM2 billion Tier 2 Junior Sukuk programme at AA+IS.

Dana Gas says appeal against BlackRock joining #sukuk trial rejected

The English Court of Appeal has refused Dana Gas' appeal against fund manager BlackRock to participate in English court proceedings. Dana is refusing to redeem its $700 million outstanding sukuk on the grounds that they are no longer sharia-compliant and therefore unlawful in the United Arab Emirates. Courts in both Britain and the UAE are hearing the case. On November 17 the English High Court ruled in favour of the sukuk holders. Dana plans to set aside this judgement on the grounds that the company was not permitted to represent itself in court. Regardless of the result of that application, additional legal proceedings in England are expected.

Why the #sukuk market is soaring

Since its introduction in the 1990s, the sukuk market has grown significantly with no sign of slowing down. 2016 saw volumes rise by 15% year-on-year, bumping the average annual growth rate of the market to 18% since 2010. This puts sukuk growth during this period more than nine times the global bond market growth average. In 2017 sukuk volumes reached $49 billion so far. Sukuk has transformed from a niche product into an integral component of global capital markets. Product offerings have expanded beyond the traditional vanilla instruments to include capital securities in the bank tier 1 format, as well as industry-specific structures for the telecommunications sector. The market is expected to grow in three areas: financing opportunities on the back of China’s Belt and Road initiative, green (or socially responsible investment) sukuk and local currency sukuk.

Iran Gov’t to Issue #Sukuk Worth $6b Next Year

The Irani government will issue 260 trillion rials ($6 billion) worth of sukuk in the next fiscal year, starting March 21, 2018. Proceeds will be used to fund the government's incomplete projects. Managing Director of Central Securities Depository, Gholamreza Aboutorabi, said the projected debt issuance was 30% higher compared to what was forecast for the current year.

Muslim countries should tap into #green #sukuk market, says CIMB Islamic

According to CIMB Islamic Bank CEO Rafe Haneef, Muslim countries and customers with such affinity should tap into the green sukuk market, given the estimated US$45 trillion demand for such assets. He added that green sukuk, was very much part and parcel of shariah compliance, which should be halal and sustainable. In the context of global sukuk, the total size per year is about US$45 billion to US$50 billion, so green bonds are already five times the size of sukuk. RAM Rating Services deputy CEO Promod Dass said there was US$3 trillion worth of green investment needs in Asean from 2015 to 2030. Maybank Group global banking head Datuk Muzaffar Hisham opined Malaysia was in the right direction of participating in the green sukuk sector. He added that appetite for green investment was growing, the only question remaining was how to accelerate it.

Moody's, global #sukuk issuance to top $ 95 billion in 2017

According to Moody's Investors Service, the global sukuk market will continue to rebound from a sharp drop in volumes in 2015. Analysts estimate that total sukuk issuance will reach around $95 billion by the end of this year, after more than $85 billion in 2016, including more than $50 billion of sukuk issuance by sovereigns. Moody's Vice-President Christian de Guzman expects that sovereign sukuk issuance volumes will continue to grow in 2018 as governments look to diversify their financing mix and satisfy the liquidity needs of Islamic retail banks. Sovereigns issued more than $40 billion of sukuk in the first eight months of the year. This represents a 50% increase compared to the same period last year. In 2017, market growth was driven by Saudi Arabia with a total issuance of $17 billion. Other countries with large fiscal deficits, such as Oman and Bahrain, will also contribute to the market's expansion.

The new #sukuk way for efficient construction financing

#Malaysian real estate developer SkyWorld is raising some RM50mil under tranche one of the RM600mil sukuk musharakah programme for its SkyAwani Residence development in Kuala Lumpur. The novel sukuk transaction is the first securitisation of progress billings combined with affordable housing. RAM Ratings Services has assigned a preliminary AA3/stable rating for the sukuk, while Danajamin Nasional is guaranteeing the support facilities. Developed, arranged and advised by NewParadigm Capital Markets, the project has achieved 100% sales. According to NewParadigm executive director Danny Kwan, the primary objective of this financial programme is to monetise the unbilled sales upfront rather than later. It provides for more efficient cashflow management for the residential developer.

US Dollar #Sukuk Market’s New Chinese Entrant

Chinese state-owned bank the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has become the first Chinese bank to help arrange a dollar based sukuk. ICBC helped arrange Pakistan’s recent $1 billion 5 year Sukuk. Pakistan raised over $8 billion for its dual issuance of sukuk and a conventional Eurobond of $1.5 billion. China is building stronger trade ties with Asian countries under its "One Belt, One Road" strategy to rebuild Silk Road trade links with Asia and Europe. Additionally, the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a collection of infrastructure projects that are currently under construction throughout Pakistan. The value of CPEC projects is worth $62 billion and provides China with a vital route to the Arabian Sea for trade routes to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

MIDEAST DEBT - #Sukuk documents seek to reassure investors after Dana Gas scare

Sukuk issuers are changing the language in documentation for new issues to reassure investors after Dana Gas refused to redeem $700 million of maturing sukuk. Dana Gas said it would not repay sukuk maturing in October because changes in the interpretation of Islamic finance had made the bonds unlawful in the UAE. Issuers are now amending their documentation to preclude the use of this argument. According to Mohamed Damak, global head of Islamic finance at Standard & Poor's, clauses seeking to reduce sharia compliance risk have become normal in the global industry, but the complexity of sukuk makes it difficult to remove the risk entirely. According to Mohammed Khnifer, senior associate at the Islamic Development Bank, sukuk holders and issuers will now rely more on English law and avoid local laws with dollar-denominated issuance.

#Qatar International Islamic Bank eyes dollar benchmark #sukuk in Feb - sources

Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) plans to issue a U.S. dollar-denominated benchmark sukuk in February. Benchmark deals are generally upwards of $500 million. One of the sources said the transaction could go up to $700 million in size. The sukuk issuance would be QIIB’s first debt sale under a $2 billion sukuk programme the bank established in October. The sukuk programme is arranged by QNB Capital, Citigroup and Standard Chartered.

Dubai's Emirates REIT gives initial price guidance for 5-yr dollar #sukuk - lead

Dubai's Emirates REIT has given initial price guidance in the low-to-mid 5% for its debut U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk. The issuance of the sukuk is expected to be of benchmark size, which conventionally means the higher side of $500 million. The senior unsecured deal, with an expected BB+ rating by Fitch, will price later in the day.

Global #Sukuk issuance to gain momentum in 2018 as new players enter market

Moody's estimates that total Sukuk issuance will reach around $95 billion by the end of this year, after more than $85 billion in 2016, including more than $50 billion of Sukuk issuance by sovereigns. According to Moody's Vice President Christian de Guzman, sovereign Sukuk issuance volumes will continue to grow in 2018 as governments look to diversify their financing mix and satisfy the liquidity needs of Islamic retail banks. A number of factors will support sovereign Sukuk issuance, including high borrowing needs for GCC sovereigns, which Moody's expects to reach around $148 billion in 2018. Malaysia remains the largest Sukuk market with an estimated 43% of total sovereign Sukuk outstanding, followed by Indonesia with 30%. Indonesia's issuance will likely grow with the government's efforts to develop the Islamic finance sector.

It’s difficult to divert funds raised through #Sukuk bond – Usman

In this interview the Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, Hassan Usman, speaks about Islamic banking in Nigeria. One of the main challenges is the high operating cost of banks, but Jaiz Bank managed to grow to a national bank. Starting in 2012 with only three branches, the bank expanded to 30 branches all over the country. The Nigerian government recently issued a N100bn Sukuk bond and Jaiz Bank was part of the process from the inception. The proceeds of the Sukuk will be dedicated to building roads across the country. Sukuk can ensure that projects are managed properly and there is no diversion. In terms of profitability, Jaiz Bank made profit in 2015 and even in 2016 in spite of the difficulty witnessed in the economy. According to Usman, 2017 looks even better because the fundamentals have started to improve and so the bank's performance will follow the trend of improved fundamentals.

GCC corporate, infrastructure #sukuk outlook uncertain

According to Standard & Poor’s, favourable market conditions supported the growth of corporate and infrastructure sukuk issuance across the GCC in the first nine months of 2017, but the outlook for 2018 is uncertain. Issuance in this segment increased to $6.8 billion (Dh24.97 billion), up from $2.8 billion during the same period of 2016. This growth suggests improvement in overall capital market activity, even though the number of corporate sukuk issuers remains low. Rising infrastructure needs and relatively low interest rates were the two support factors for corporate and infrastructure sukuk. GCC banks traditionally operate with high levels of capital, but analysts expect Basel III to make less of it available for project finance. That could make issuers consider capital market options in the form of conventional project finance debt or sukuk as an alternative to bank finance.

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