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BNP Paribas’ Alwi Says More Non-Islamic Investors Buying Sukuk

Syed Alwi bin Mohamed Sultan, the Kuala Lumpur-based head of Islamic banking for Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas Malaysia Bhd., discusses the trends in Islamic finance at the World Islamic Banking Conference in Singapore.

“There’s greater diversification of the investor base. What we have seen from recent issuance is that there are greater non-Islamic investors coming in to accept sukuk or invest in sukuk instruments. The Khazanah Nasional Dim Sum sukuk witnessed more than 50 percent from Singapore and Hong Kong investors. A deal that BNP Paribas led and brought to market, the Bahrain sukuk, more than 20 percent of European investors participated.”

“We’re seeing the phenomenon of sukuk issuance is being stretched. What seemed to be the sweet spot of sukuk tenors was the five year. But today we can see the tenor being stretched from seven to 10 years. This is a demonstration of the growing maturity of the Islamic finance market.

“This year we will witness potential issuance from countries like South Africa, Kenya, and Senegal. Hong Kong had already issued consultations into the bonds to look into the stamp duty and tax ordinances to level the playing field for sukuk issuance.”

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