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Saturday, 17 April 2010

Indonesia's Bank Muamalat eyes dollar sukuk in 2011

JAKARTA, April 15 (Reuters) - Indonesia's major Islamic lender PT Bank Muamalat is studying the possibility of issuing a dollar-denominated sukuk next year to help expand its lending, company director Farouk Abdullah AlWyni said on Thursday.

He also said the country's first full-fledged sharia bank, which is partly owned by Islamic Development Bank, has postponed its planned 1 trillion rupiah ($111 million) rights issue to June after foreign investors expressed interest in buying a stake in the bank. The rights issue had been planned for May.

Several Indonesian firms, including property developers Lippo Karawaci and Bakrieland Development had earlier this year expressed interest in raising debt denominated in foreign currencies, capitalising on strong gains in the rupiah IDR= and low interest rates offshore.

"I have met an investment bank from Bahrain to arrange sukuk issue denominated in foreign currency to attract funds from the Middle East," AlWyni told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on Islamic finance.

"Our target is to issue sukuk after completing the rights issue, but not this year," he said, adding that the Islamic debt is "expected to be issued next year, denominated in dollars."
He declined to give details of the sukuk issue.
AlWyni said investors from Malaysia and Qatar were seen as interested in buying a stake in Bank Muamalat, which focuses its business on loans for small- and medium-sized businesses. He did not elaborate.

Malaysia's Bank Islam was in talks with several stakeholders in Indonesia's PT Bank Muamalat and wants to take control of the Indonesian Islamic bank, the Business Times reported late last year. AlWyni declined to confirm the report. ($1=9005 Rupiah).

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