IIT debut sukuk in UK may lead to spate of new issuances

The recent launching of the first corporate Sukuk out of the UK by Gateshead-based International Innovative Technologies (IIT) may have taken the Islamic capital markets by surprise, but the signs are that a spate of other UK originations may follow over the next few months. A major GCC-based sukuk arranger confirmed that it has been working on a corporate sukuk issuance for a UK healthcare company for the last year. The company hopes to launch the issuance next month. A London-based Islamic bank is also working on a sukuk issuance for a UK client which is near to being finalized. Tom Wilkinson, chairman of IIT, is confident that there is potential for other UK companies to access Islamic finance including sukuk as an alternative source of funding. The proceeds of the IIT sukuk, according to Wilkinson, will be used as growth capital for the company. The sukuk issue was placed privately with Millennium Private Equity Ltd., leading private equity firm based in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and regulated by Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). Millennium Private Equity Ltd. is co-owned by United Gulf Bank (UGB) and Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB).