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Bahrain Says It Is Still Planning to Sell Islamic Bonds

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Bahrain is still planning to sell Islamic bonds, Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, executive director of banking operations at Bahrain’s Central Bank, said today.

“The issuance of the sukuk is still on track,” Sheikh Salman said in an e-mailed response to a question. He gave no further details.

Central Bank Governor Rasheed al-Maraj said in an interview last month that Bahrain has hired Citigroup Inc., BNP Paribas SA and Standard Chartered Plc to advise on the sale of $1 billion in bonds in October. He said the maturity of the sukuk may be between seven to 10 years and that the island kingdom plans to use the money to help finance a budget deficit of about 5 percent of gross domestic product.

Bahrain’s economy is set to grow 5 percent in 2012 after slowing this year, Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, chief executive officer of the country’s Economic Development Board, said on Oct. 23.

To contact the reporter on this story: Donna Abu-Nasr in Manama at dabunasr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Louis Meixler at lmeixler@bloomberg.net.

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