Lack of rules delays ‘sukuk’ bonds issuance

The Philippines first sukuk issuance may have to wait a while despite recent pronouncements from both the private and the public sectors of plans to tap Muslim investors. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said rules did not exist yet to allow firms or government agencies to issue debt instruments that comply with Islamic shariah laws. Last month, state-run National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. (NHMFC) said it planned to issue P2 billion in Islamic bonds in behalf of a Mindanao-based firm. NHMFC would tap government banks Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines as underwriters for the debt issuance.