Times of Oman

Sukuk sales may break $46b record on debuts

This year's record of $46 billion in terms of global sukuk sales is very likely to be exceeded in the coming year. A key reason is that countries like Oman, Tunisia and Egypt are just entering the market. Borrowing costs on Sharia-compliant debt have decreased 11.4 percentage points reaching 2.82% since the end of 2008 due to central banks in Europe, the US and Japan pumping funds into their economies in order to enhance growth rates. A rise in the Islamic banking assets will drive the demand so that it can reach $1.8 trillion next year. Compared to that, in 2011 the demand was $1.3 trillion.

Al Madina-led JV to form $50m SME fund

Al Medina Financial and Korean Finance corporation are going to form a Sharia-compliant small and medium enterprise fund worth $50 million. The fund that should be operational in the first quater of next year will provide seed capital for SME companies in Oman, which use Korean technology.

Morocco joins neighbours to draft sukuk law

Following the example of other North African countries, Morocco is working on the draft of a law aiming to allow the sale of Islamic bonds. Thus, the country makes efforts to lure more investors to their debt after the surge of global sukuk offerings reached record amounts. The bill will be put to parliament immediately after the completion of the draft. Details on the exact time when this is to be expected are not revealed. Other two African countries - Tunisia and Egypt - are working on draft laws concerning sukuk sales as well.

Tilal seeks CMA nod for floating Sultanate's first sukuk issue

Tilal Development Company turns to Capital Market Authority (CMA) for raising funds by the country's first sukuk issue. According to Abdullah bin Salem Al Salmi, executive president of CMA, they are ready to grant Tilal their approval as soon as the latter are ready with a plan. Al Salmi further added that Islamic financial instruments like sukuk are necessary for Islamic banks in order to invest their deposits. A lack of Islamic debt instruments could result in a deposit growth much higher than the anticipated growth in terms of assets which would make deposit investment very difficult.

Al Izz Islamic Bank may float IPO by next month

Al Izz Islamic Bank has announced the lunch of its IPO by next month. The bank has already received approval from the regulatory authority. According to bank officials, the shares should probalbly be listed on the stock market as soon as in September.

ONIC starts dialogue for JV takaful firm

ONIC Holding negotiates with Royal and Sun Alliance to mutually promote takaful insurance company in Oman. ONIC Holding has already obtained an approval from the Oman's Capital Market Authority, after the government decision to allow Islamic banks. However, ONIC has to wait for announcing of a separate set of rules for Sharia-compliant insurance firms, as these are still waiting to be defined by the Capital Market Authority.

Consultant submits draft law for Islamic takaful insurance

UK-based law consultancy company Clifford Chance has prepared and handed over the draft law for forming Sharia-compliant takaful insurance firms and sukuk debt instruments. While a new set of law will serve as the rules takaful insurance companies, amendments will be made in Capital Market Law to accommodate Islamic debt instruments like sukuks. The final draft is expexted to be finished in about a month's time.

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