ISLAMIC BONDS: Sukuk — A product for all of Asia?

Signs are everywhere in Asia that Islamic finance is expanding its frontiers. However, many Asian countries have yet to engage, while even those that have can still do much more to reap their benefits. Malaysia has been the biggest pioneer of the modern Islamic finance industry and dominates global sukuk issuance. Indonesia is another keen advocate of sukuk, both domestically and internationally, but has brought a much smaller $19bn worth of deals. Pakistan, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam and Hong Kong are also potential growth areas. Elsewhere, the market is at best in its nascent stages and very fractured. This, however, is seen as a cause for optimism by bankers.