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RACE: Who will sell more Sukuk in 2013: Saudi or Dubai Entities? Will Egypt join?

March 15, 2013

As 1Q 2013 nears it end, the race seems to be limited to Saudi and Dubai entities this year when it comes to sale of shariah compliant bonds or Sukuk. Dubai which wants to become the world’s capital for Islamic finance and Sukuk, saw abundant issues thus far this year, similar to levels seen in 2007 before the global financial crisis hit the Emirate.

Following Dubai’s Department of Finance DOF Sukuk in January 2013, DEWA sold a 1billion dollar Sukuk, which was followed by Dubai Islamic Bank’s Tier 1 1bn$ Sukuk and Emirates Airline’s 1bn Sukuk. Menahwile, Nakheel issued another tranche for trade creditors. This seems to be just the beginning for a year full of rich and benchmark issues by Dubai’s companies and government entities that are seeking to  refinance their debts or to finance new projects.

Neighboring Saudi Arabia remained dormant so far this year. However, Saudi Arabia last year managed to rank second worldwide in terms of sukuk issues when around USD10 billion of sukuk were issued placing the Kingdom ahead of UAE for the first time in history.

Will the Kingdom maintain this ranking this year? Almaraii, Saudi Bin Laden, Sadara and Riyad Bank are just about to sell sukuk. And if GACA or any government owned entity sells a benchmark sukuk, then the Kingdom “might” be able to catch up with Dubai’s pace again!

Both cases, exciting times ahead! Qatar, Oman and Turkey are very interesting spots this year! And if Egypt joins the race, then we can start talking about “MENA sukuk” on the map as instead of “GCC sukuk” vis-a-vis Malaysia (South East Asia) sukuk landscape.

To learn more about the latest developments on Sukuk Law in Egypt, Join a discussion with a drafter of Egypt’s new sukuk law.

Register by emailing “Egypt Session” to



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