Mohammed Abbas and John Irish, reported on Gulf News (Reuters) on 9 March about the Sukuk market tendencies driven by sellers issuing in local currencies at low rates. The fallen LIBOR rates due to Federal Reserve policy are above off-setting for the increased margins asked for credit clients.
Local currencies are in favour as long as speculation is around about reevaluation of the dollar peg - this also limits the foreign demand for Sukuk and exposure to Gulf credit markets. Local currency Sukuk are relying on the GCC internal demand for such paper.
Trade Arabia reported on 28 April that the RM 500 mn Sukuk issues is approved by the market regulator.
Bank Islam Malaysia and Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) are the joint principal advisers, lead arrangers and lead managers for the issue.
Kuwait Finance House shall be the guarantor for the sukuk programme. Malaysian Rating Corp has assigned a long-term rating of AA+(bg) for the issue.
Gulf Base cited Reuters that Saudi SABIC received regulatory clearance for its planned SAR 5 bn Sukuk sale. The approval was posted on the Saudi bourse website. SABIC is the worlds biggest chemicals firm by market value.
The Guardian reported on 25 April that Pakistan appointed advisers for first domestic Sukuk, being Dubai Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan as Managers. The estimated size of the Sukuk might be 20 bn Pakistani rupees.
Ashfaque Hasan Khan is special secretary at the Finance Ministry.
Rania El Gamal reported on 23 April in Arabien Business that Kuwait's Abyaar Real Estate Development is in the process of getting a credit rating to help it sell between USD 250 to USD 500 mn of Sukuk for general expansion. Abyaar is talks with NBD Investment Bank, a unit of Emirates NBD. Merill Lynch is advising on the sale for another specific project in Dubai about USD 500 mn.
Abyaar has other financing arrangements with Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic Bank, Kuwait's Global Investment House and Rasameel Structured Finance.
Abyaar has said it wants to expand in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and is seeking opportunities in Turkey, Malaysia and Singapore.
Marzouq al-Rashdan is vice-president of Abyaar.
Mohammed Abbas reported on Arabian Business on 27 April that state-owned Nakheel, developer of three palm-tree shaped islands off Dubai's coast, set price guidance for the 2-year USD 1 bn Sukuk Al Ijara at 225 to 250 basis points above the Emirates Interbank Offered Rate (Eibor). The Sukuk will be denominated in Dirham. 3-month Eibor is at about 1.92 %, according to data from newswire Reuters. Date for sale is not yet set.
Dubai Islamic Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Company and Dubai-based Emirates NBD are Arrangers.
Kar Tung Quek is Nakheel Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Forbes reported on 15 April about the Moody's study regarding Islamic finance claiming the industry grows at double rate compared to the conventional markets and becomes more international but also remains diverse and heterogene. Interpretation of rules and regulation vary widely, and they perceive a lack of technical and contractual standardisation.
Moody's expects the Sukuk market to become more complex, more structured, larger, more diversified and more liquid as it evolves over time.
Parag Deulgaonkar reported 22 April in Business 24/7 that Kuwait-based Abyaar Real Estate Development is to launch a USD 1 bnsukuk issue before year-end to finance its projects and will dual list its share on the Dubai Financial Market, for which it has appointed NBD Investment Bank as financial advisor and placement agent.
Marzooq Al Rashdan is Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Abyaar
Please see my explanation to the recent Sukuk debate layed out in two articles.
Michael Saleh Gassner
Dow Jones Newswire reported on 18 April, that Villamar Sukuk Company Limited has priced USD 190 mn of 2013-dated, sukuk floating-rate-notes through Merrill Lynch and Al Rajhi Banking & Invesment Corporation. It is going to be listed at the DIFX.
Bernama reported on 18 April that Lingkaran Trans Kota Sdn Bhd (Litrak) fully redeems senior and junior debt issues.
RAM said, it will maintain surveillance on the AA2 ratings of Litrak's Sukuk Musyarakah Islamic Medium-Term Notes I Programme of up to RM1.15 billion and Sukuk Musyarakah Islamic Medium-Term II Programme up to RM300 million, as well as the P1 rating of the company's Islamic Commercial Papers Programme of up to RM100 million.
All the long-term ratings have a stable outlook, it said.
Eileen A. Mencias reported in Manila Standard Today on 15 April that the Philippine Government plans a USD 900 - 1000 mn 5-year sukuk through Al-Amanah Islamic Bank to provide a long-term financing package for the acquisition of the Metro Rail Transit-3 project along Edsa to replace bridge finance by the Development Bank Philippines (DBP). First Metro is teaming up with the DBP to arrange the Sukuk bonds. DBP is in the process of taking over control of Al-Amanah Islamic Bank. CIMB and Islamic Development Bank are supposed to assist in structuring.
Juanchito Dispo is executive vice president of First Metro Investment Corp.
Deal Journal reported on 10 April about potential ambitions of Hong Kong based corporations to issue Sukuk. Those companies cited include the Airport Authority Hong Kong, which is wholly government-owned. The Chinese newspaper Mingpao is cited that the other firms are rail operator MTR Corp. and Hong Kong Mortgage Corp.
MTR denied it is planning an Islamic bond issue.
Business 24/7 reported on 13 April that National Central Cooling Co (Tabreed) has mandated Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered and National Bank of Abu Dhabi as lead managers for its planned USD 300-500 mn convertible Sukuk due by 2011.
Harry Suhartono from Reuters reported on 8 April that Indonesia's finance ministry plans for the second half of the year 2008 two Sukuk domestically and international following the approval of the new bill.
Indonesia's finance ministry plans to sell Islamic bonds in the international and domestic markets in the second half of 2008, a senior official said late on Monday following the approval of new bill on Islamic debt.
Rahmat Waluyanto is the treasury director general at the finance ministry. According to him the ministry has suitable underlying assets worth 15 trillion rupiah (USD 1.63 bn).
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said it might take between one to 1.5 months for the ministry to draw up the necessary regulations following the approval of the bill.
More information in regard to the Sukuk bill:
Business Intelligence Middle East reported on 9 April that Standard & Poors revisied Saad Group outlookto 'stable' on improved capital structure. At the same time, the 'BBB+' long-term corporate credit ratings were affirmed.
Standard & Poor's credit analyst is Mohammed Fayek.
The potential for a rating upgrade is constrained by leverage and the potential for volatility in portfolio value. A sustained weakening of equity markets or a more aggressive growth strategy and subsequently higher leverage for the group could have negative implications for the rating.
Saad issued a Sukuk.
Parag Deulgaonkar reported on 7 April about the extraordinary shareholder meeting of Tamweel, deciding to restructure Tamweel as a holding firm. The UAE mortgage business, property investment, escrow management services and Tamweel International will be the first four operating units.
The company also plans to raise Dh 5.1 bn through sukuk in 2008. This total amount includes Dh 1.1 bn of convertible sukuk and Dh 4 bn of non-convertible sukuk.
Further Tamweel has signed a joint venture agreement with Al Oula Development Company in Saudi Arabia, where the company expects to open a subsidiary later this year. Other expansion plans include Egypt.
Wasim Saifi is CEO of Tamweel.
Zayed bin Saqer Al Nehayan is Chairman of Tamweel.
Yoon Ja-young reported on 7 April that Korea regulators plan to revise laws to support banks to reach out to the markets of Islamic countries.
The Financial Services Commission (FSC) plans to revise laws through a revision this year. FSC Chairman Jun Kwang-woo sees bankers requests in this regard very positive. Steps should include opportunities for Sukuk.
Reuters reported on 7 April that Pakistan has shortlisted six banks to manage a local currency sukuk to be mandated according to sources Reuters spoke with, those are ABN Amro Pakistan, Dubai Islamic Bank, Meezan Bank, MCB Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan, United Bank Ltd. Last month the finance minster, Salman Shah, indicated the issuance till 30 June, the end of the fiscal year. A banker familiar with the plans estimates the size at least to be Rps 20 bn (USD 318 mn).
Trading Market reported on 7 April that three local Islamic banks arranged Rs 91 bn Sukuk in Pakistan: Meezan Bank participated in Rs 57 bn worth of Sukuk financing. Dubai Islamic Bank during the year 2006-07, arranged Sukuks worth Rs 24 bn, which is 41% of the total domestic Sukuk issuances. BankIslami managed Rs. 5 bn in the last quarter of 2007.