Goldman revives sukuk

Goldman Sachs last week revived plans to issue a debut Islamic bond, a deal that was first mooted three years ago. In September 2011, Goldman set up a sukuk programme registered under the commodity murabaha format with the intention to follow it up with a deal. But some Islamic finance participants raised concerns over whether the proceeds would be used to lend interest-based money to Goldman’s clients. Those close to the transaction denied this at the time, but the programme expired unused. The hope is that the change in structure and circumstance would facilitate a different outcome this time round. The upcoming transaction will use the wakala structure, a cost-plus model with which Middle East Islamic investors are more familiar with, and it will be underpinned by crude oil assets.