Qatar’s $4bn sukuk is a big success

DUBAI: Qatar sold the largest dollar-denominated Islamic bond yesterday, taking advantage of heavy interest in high-grade Gulf debt being sought as a safe haven from the global financial crisis.

The world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter priced a $4 billion, two-tranche sukuk, attracting an order book of over $24bn. It was Qatar’s first Islamic debt issue in nine years.

The five- and 10-year tranches were each $2bn in size. The first carried a yield of 2.099 per cent and the other 3.241pc, lead arrangers said.

Both yields were about 18 basis points cheaper than they would have been if a conventional bond had been sold, analysts said.

Qatar has been benefitting from two trends. Because of high oil prices, solid economic growth and comfortable budget surpluses, the bond prices of countries in the region have risen strongly even as debt problems in Europe and the US have worsened.

The second trend is a hunger for sukuk among cash-rich Islamic investment funds from the Gulf and southeast Asia, which see relatively few attractive investments elsewhere in the world as global markets sag.

Gulf-Daily-News, July 12, 2012