Sukuk or Islamic bonds enable organisations to raise capital in a Shariah compliant manner. The demand for sukuk was previously limited outside the GCC until few years ago and the year 2012 sees Oman as an emerging potential sukuk market among Thailand and the CIS countries. Since the concept of “Sukuk” is a fairly new phenomenon in Oman, Mr. Hussain Al-Yafai, Director, Debt Capital Markets MENA, Standard Chartered Bank, will provide us an in-depth view on raising debt capital via Sukuk markets, at the Oman Islamic Banking and Finance Conference 2012 taking place from 5th-6th June 2012 at the Grand Hyatt.
Sukuk differs from conventional bonds (debt-based instruments that pay interest), as they are asset based and represent ownership by Sukuk holders in the underlying assets, allowing them to share income from the same. Sukuk issuances enable companies to tap a new source of funding thereby allowing them to diversify from traditional capital markets funding. The primary advantages of a Sukuk issuance to a conventional issuance are access to a wider base of investors which taps Islamic liquidity and a lower cost of funding. From an international viewpoint, some of the challenges faced by the industry include the lack of liquidity in the secondary market, differing views amongst Sharia’h scholars on acceptability of certain Sukuk structures and differences in legal, tax and regulatory frameworks across various jurisdictions.
The benefits and challenges of Sukuk will be covered by Mr. Al Yafai in greater detail at the Conference among other key topics, including the facilitation of the sukuk market by Omani Authorities, international and regional trends in the issuance of Sukuk, differences between Sukuk and conventional bonds from a credit point of view, possibility of more conventional issuers tapping Islamic Liquidity etc.
Mr. Al-Yafai’s role at Debt Capital Markets MENA, Standard Chartered Bank includes originating and executing a number of high profile transactions in the region which includes structured debt financing (i.e.- Sukuks, ABS, equity linked, structured and subordinated debt). His mandate entails the complete process, from deal origination to final execution including pricing, structuring, distribution, documentation, credit ratings, listing and public offer. He has successfully led and has been a part of the team that arranged landmark transactions such as the Govt. of Ras Al Khaimah’s AED 1 billion & USD 400m Sukuk, USD 500m Sukuk, First Gulf Bank’s USD 650m and USD 500m Sukuk, Emirates Islamic Bank’s USD 500m Sukuk, Tamweel’s USD 300m Sukuk and ADCB’s USD 500m Sukuk.