Hakim Ben Hammouda

Tunisia Plans $500 Million Sukuk Sale by End of November

Tunisia, where citizens started voting for a new parliament, plans to raise $500 million from the sale of sukuk by the end of November, according to Finance Minister Hakim Ben Hammouda. Consultations with Citigroup Inc., Natixis SA, Standard Chartered Plc and Qatar-based QInvest are ongoing, Hammouda said. Former Finance Minister Elyes Fakhfakh in July 2013 said the nation would raise as much as $700 million from the sale of Islamic bonds, the same month it approved a sukuk law. Tunisians cast ballots for a new parliament today, marking a milestone in the North African nation’s transition to democracy following the ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali more than three years ago. Results are expected Oct. 29, and presidential elections are scheduled for next month.

AAA Guarantee Gives 1st Tunisia Sukuk Pricing Power: Arab Credit

The backing of AAA rated Islamic Development Bank is a boon to the debut sukuk Tunisia plans by July. The North African nation is planning to sell more than $100 million of Shariah-compliant bonds, Finance Minister Hakim Ben Hammouda said. That will help keep borrowing costs lower than they would be otherwise, said Mourad El Hattab at STB Bank. The guarantor will help keep the interest within the current range, El Hattab added. The IDB has provided Tunisia $3.6 billion in support. The yield on Tunisia’s 400 million-euro ($557 million) bonds maturing in 2020 fell three basis points to 4.42 percent at 11.59: a.m. on May 8 in Dubai, compared with a high for the year of 5.7 percent on Jan. 6.

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