Brunei issues $73m worth of sukuk

The Ministry of Finance building on Commonwealth Drive. Picture: BT/Yusri Adanan

Sunday, November 7, 2010

THE Ministry of Finance (MOF) yesterday announced the successful pricing of its 51st and 52nd issuance of short-term Sukuk Al-Ijarah securities totalling $73 million.

In a statement, the MOF said the issuance consisted of "$25 million for Series 51 and $48 million for Series 52".

It stated that Series 51 carries a maturity of 91 days with a rental rate of 0.28 per cent, which began on September 2, 2010, and will mature on December 2, 2010.

"Series 52 also has a maturity of 91 days, which began on September 30, 2010 and will mature on December 30, 2010, with a rental rate of 0.28 per cent," stated the press release.

According to the MOF, since April 6, 2006, the Brunei Government has so far issued over $2.5 billion worth of short-term Sukuk Al-Ijarah securities.

Sukuk are certificates proving ownership of an asset so unlike bondholders, sukuk investors do not receive interest, but rather returns generated by the underlying assets, pooled under special purpose vehicles.

The Sukuk Holding Properties Inc and Sukuk (Brunei) Inc were set up by the Ministry of Finance and registered under the International Business Companies Order 2000 to act as conduits to issue sukuk.

Earlier this year, The Brunei Times reported that "the recent sukuk issuances reflect the growing demand from Muslim consumers for investments and financial services that comply with Islamic law".

Previously, experts have said that conventional investors can also turn to Islamic investment products, like sukuk, to diversify their investment portfolios and reduce risk of losses. The Brunei Times