S'pore's Islamic finance hub goal hit by dearth of sukuk issues

Sabana Reit only entity to have sold sukuk in the Republic this year

Published Thu, Oct 2, 2014 · 09:50 PM
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SABANA Shari'ah Compliant Industrial Reit is the sole entity in Singapore to have sold sukuk this year in a setback to the Republic's ambitions to become an Islamic finance hub.

The real estate investment trust raised S$100 million in September after selling S$90 million of the debt in March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While the city introduced rules allowing for syariah-compliant bond sales in 2006, offerings have been limited to issuers such as Sabana, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and energy services company Swiber Holdings Ltd.

Singapore is among a growing number of countries that are trying to grab a share of the Islamic finance industry, whose banking assets Ernst & Young LLP forecasts will double to US$3.4 trillion by 2018. Hong Kong, Luxembourg and the UK have sold debut sukuk this year, joining the dominant markets of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Middle East.

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