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Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Britain to launch sukuk consultation - officials

LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Britain will pave the way on Wednesday to become the first Western government to launch Islamic bonds early next year, government officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
Treasury minister Kitty Ussher will launch a three-month consultation into issuing the so-called sukuk bonds, which are compliant with Islam's sharia law with the goal of introducing them in the budget next year.
As paying of interest is forbidden under Islamic law, the sukuk bonds pay profits or rent from an underlying asset with the securities representing part ownership of the asset.
The government has been keen to get sukuk bonds started and make the capital a centre for Islamic finance given the huge growth in this area in recent years, particularly as Middle East investors recycle huge oil profits.

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