Eskom to Transnet mull tapping Islamic cash

South African state-owned companies Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. and Transnet SOC Ltd. are weighing Islamic bond sales after the government sold its first sukuk at a record-low cost. Eskom, the national power utility, said yesterday it will use the sovereign sale as a “barometer” for its own financing plans, while rail and ports operator Transnet has said it may access the market amid growing demand for Shariah-compliant debt. Al Baraka Bank is awaiting regulatory approval for a 300 million-rand ($29 million) issue next year. South Africa sold $500 million of Shariah-compliant bonds two days ago at a 3.9 percent profit rate. Yields on the bonds rose 10 basis points to 4 percent by 5:30 p.m. in Johannesburg yesterday.