Gulf Islamic Bond Sales Disappoint

This year is shaping up to be a disappointing one for Islamic bond sales in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. Sukuk issuance in the region has slumped by more than half in the year through 28 June. It’s a setback for the Shariah-compliant industry, where GCC sales accounted for 31 per cent of all global Islamic bonds in 2014. Islamic bond issuance from the GCC has plunged 53 per cent. Meanwhile, about 22 per cent more has been raised with Shariah- compliant loans from the GCC than in the same period a year ago. The worst-performing Islamic bond from a GCC borrower was a ringgit-denominated sukuk due 2022 from Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, known as Taqa, which has lost 8.2 per cent this year. Nevertheless, Islamic bonds returned an average 1.8 per cent, compared with 0.8 per cent for conventional bonds.