THE listing of the inaugural Sukuk by the Government of Qatar on the Labuan International Financial Exchange (LFX) yesterday increased the market capitalisation of the exchange to US$2.95bil.
The secondary listing of the US$700mil Trust Certificates (Sukuk) due 2010 of Qatar Global Sukuk is the 14th listing on LFX, said a joint statement by LFX and Commerce International Merchant Bankers Bhd (CIMB).
The listing was testimony to the continued confidence of international investors in the capability of LFX, said exchange chairman Datuk Mohd Azlan Hashim.
He described it as a significant step forward for LFX in meeting one of its key objectives of bridging requirements for international Islamic financing.
The Sukuk has an A+ rating by Standard & Poor's Rating Services and was listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange on Oct 9, 2003.
It was also endorsed by the Bahrain-based International Islamic Financial Market in September 2003.
CIMB (L) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CIMB, was appointed as the listing sponsor for the Qatar Sukuk.
HSBC Bank Plc and Qatar International Islamic Bank are joint lead managers for the offering of the Sukuk while CIMB was appointed as the co-manager for the Far East region.
CIMB Islamic head Badlisyah Abdul Ghani said Qatar's decision to list its Sukuk on LFX would facilitate access to investors in the Far East, and familiarise investors with Sukuk type structures.
He hoped that other sovereigns, especially those in the Middle East, would issue more Sukuk and list them on LFX.
He said it would be good if the Islamic Development Bank and Bahrain government were to also list their respective global Sukuk on the LFX.
It was important for more quality issuers to come to the market for the global Islamic capital market to develop, he said.
Sukuk means Islamic certificates or notes and is similar to trust certificates issued by other conventional issuers.
The Qatar Sukuk is the fourth Syariah compliant instrument listed on LFX after Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd's Serial Islamic Lease Sukuks due 2004 (US$100mil) and 2006 (US$50mil) and the Government of Malaysia Sukuk Trust Certificates due 2007 (US$600mil). Bernama