Azzad Asset Management has joined other socially responsible investment institutions in signing a coalition letter to the 19 CEOs who are members of President Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum. The letter asks to oppose the president's recent executive order barring refugees and certain immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries. In addition to public outcry against the ban on humanitarian and constitutional grounds, many have pointed out the negative impact of barring international workers on the economy. The letter was signed by 64 socially responsible investment firms and human rights and religious organizations. The Strategic and Policy Forum's first meeting is scheduled for February 3.
US President Donald Trump has been accused of courting international trade friction and a new international debt crisis. There were already signs given the huge debt built up over a decade of record low interest rates, and that rates had begun rising. The next international debt crisis could well be in the emerging market corporate sector. Global debt has reached US$217 trillion, equal to a record 325% of global gross domestic product. Investors in Brazil, South Korea, Thailand, Chile, Czech and Malaysia especially have been big borrowers. While most of this has been in local currencies, corporates in India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Russia as well as Hong Kong and Singapore have borrowed heavily in foreign currency. This creates a currency mismatch situation.
The unexpected victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election caused the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to wait a bit longer to assess the impact on the regional bond market. IDB will announce this week plans for investor roadshows covering its planned sukuk sale. The issue, expected to be in excess of $1 billion, is one of the few remaining debt sales likely to be completed in the Middle East before the end of this year. Some Middle Eastern bond transactions for which banks had already been mandated have been put on hold and potential borrowers have decided to wait until January to see how markets perform. In addition to the IDB, Abu Dhabi airline Etihad is also expected to launch a sukuk issue soon, likely to be in the $1 billion region. The bond is expected to be executed later this week.