RAM: Q1 global sukuk issuance at US$22.2bil

This is the second consecutive year that RAM Ratings has been honoured as Rating Agency of the Year, Malaysia by The Asset.

KUALA LUMPUR: Global sukuk issuance reached US$22.2 billion (US$1=RM4.33), as at end-March, a marginal decrease from US$24.1bil recorded in the same period last year, with Malaysia maintaining its leadership by accounting for 38.5% of the total issuance, says RAM Ratings.

In a statement, the ratings agency said Indonesia was next (24.7%) followed by Qatar (9.9%) and the United Arab Emirates (9%).

RAM Ratings said outstanding global sukuk summed up to US$346.7bil, as at end-March 2017, with Malaysia maintaining its leadership by commanding 48% of the amount.

It said during the first quarter this year, sovereign issuance boosted the global sukuk market, with the bulk of the sovereign issuance stemming Indonesia (43.4%), Qatar (17.6%), Malaysia (15.4%) and Hong Kong (8%).

Head of Islamic Finance Ruslena Ramli said Bahrain and Qatar remained committed to continuously tap the sukuk market.

"With the return of Saudi Arabia and the issuance of its US$9bil sukuk on April 13 (its first US$-denominated sukuk), we envisage other Gulf Cooperation Council nations would also consider to include sukuk issuance as a debt management strategy," she added.

On the domestic front, outstanding Malaysian sukuk expanded 11.5%,year-on-year,to RM691.4bil, as at end-March 2017, from RM620.1bil recorded in the same period last year.

It said RM18.3bil in domestic sukuk was issued in March, bringing year-to-date issuance value to RM37.6bil in the first quarter of this year, with the financial services sector the main driver of the domestic sukuk market. – Bernama

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