Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) today listed a $325 million Sukuk (Islamic bond) on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), taking the DIFX’s total listed value of Sukuk to $14.105 billion – the largest value of any exchange in the world.
RAKIA has raised the money for its Al Marjan artificial island tourism project being built in the Gulf off Ras Al Khaimah in the northern United Arab Emirates.
Dr Khater Massaad, Chief Executive Officer of RAKIA said: “Investors have shown great interest in this first Sukuk to be issued by RAKIA, as we move forward with the Marjan development including upmarket hotels, villas, a marina and a theme park. As the region’s international exchange with high regulatory standards, the DIFX enhances our visibility to investors and underpins their confidence in our Sukuk.”
Per E. Larsson, Chief Executive of the DIFX, said: “Sukuk are a rapidly growing asset class, with global issuance rising 63% to $26.9 billion in the first nine months of 2007, from the same period last year. The DIFX region is playing a central role in this expansion and the exchange will remain at the forefront of the sector.”
RAKIA’s Sukuk has been issued by RAKIA Sukuk Company Limited and matures in 2012. It is based on an Al-Wakala structure. The lead managers for the issue were Credit Suisse, HSBC and NBD Investment Bank.
Hamed Ali, Executive Officer of the DIFX, said: “Islamic finance will increasingly be a growth area for the exchange in areas such as structured products as well as Sukuk. Our securities suit a wide range of international and regional investor requirements.”