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Saudi Arabia to lead sukuk issuance

By Reuters

Sukuk issuance in the Middle East will range between 10 and 15 in 2010, with demand mainly expected to come from Saudi Arabia, said Mohd Daud Bakar, Managing Director of Amanie Islamic Finance Consultancy and Education.

Bakar said Saudi Arabia will lead the sukuk pipeline this year as it funds infrastructure projects.

Bakar said the kingdom has the economy and population to support such projects. He added that his firm has two to three mandates for sukuk issues in 2010, mainly coming out of the kingdom.

"I'm looking at two or three sukuk issues," he said. "There should be 10 to 15 sukuk issued throughout this year by the corporates in the Middle East, at least $400 million (Dh1.46 billion) to $500 million each if not more."

Bakar said the sector would see some slowdown in the wake of the global economic crisis and a rash of problems at Islamic financial institutions, but the outlook was not all bad.


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