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DIFC Issues Guide To Sukuk Issuance

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

28 December 2009

The Dubai Financial Services Centre (DIFC) has announced the release of its "DIFC Sukuk Guide," a comprehensive introduction to various sukuk structures, which also provides legal and regulatory information on issuing sukuk from the DIFC, and listing sukuk on NASDAQ Dubai.

The guide provides detailed descriptions of more than 10 sukuk structures, information on the history and current status of sukuk globally, an overview regarding the issuing and listing of sukuk in or from DIFC, and information on regulatory licensing in the district.

Sukuk investment structures are Shari’ah-compliant alternatives to interest-bearing investment certificates or fixed-income securities, and offer Islamic investors a means of subscribing to certificates that represent a right to receive a share of profits generated by an underlying asset base, with added benefit of being tradable on the secondary market.

It is hoped that the guide will further reinforce the DIFC’s leading role in global Islamic finance, hosting the largest exchange for sukuk by listed value, with value of more than USD16bn.

“The changing global economic landscape and shift eastward of the economic center of gravity means DIFC is ideally situated to capture an even larger share of the global sukuk market,” commented Farhan Al Bastaki, Executive Director of Islamic Finance for the DIFC.

“With this guide, we are providing market participants with a clear understanding of this important sector and the supportive environment for sukuk at DIFC.”

According to the report, the United Arab Emirates is the leader in terms of sukuk issuance by value, accounting for USD26.8bn in issuances between 2000 and 2008, in a market that is estimated, by Standard and Poor’s, to be worth around USD50bn and growing.

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