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Monday, 20 August 2007

Sukuk Issues In GCC Expected To Soar

DUBAI, Aug 20 (Bernama) -- The value of sukuk issues in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) this year will significantly outweigh the amount for 2006, rating agency Moody's said. A report by the firm said that US$6.30 billion (US$1=RM3.49) of corporate sukuks have been issued in the first half of 2007, already approaching 2006's record level of US$9.00 billion. Large transactions such as the sale of a US$1.50 billion sukuk by Dubai's DP World and US$1.25 billion sukuk by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) have buoyed this year's figure, the report said."Sukuks are a rapidly growing financial instrument used not only by Islamic issuers but also by non-Islamic issuers aiming to attract syariah-compliant investors," Philipp Lotter, Dubai-based senior credit officer at Moody's was quoted as saying by the Middle East Economic Digest.The GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.DP World is one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world with 42 terminals in 22 countries while DIFC, which was opened in 2004, primarily serves the vast region between Western Europe and East Asia.DIFC has attracted high-calibre firms from around the world. The world-class stock exchange, the Dubai International Financial Exchange, opened in the DIFC in September 2005.

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