Al Baraka Turkish unit to issue $200m sukuk


24/01/2012 21:58 AST  Reuters

Bahraini lender Al Baraka Bank's Turkish subsidiary will go ahead with a $200 million Islamic bond issue in the first quarter, after delaying a sale last month due to pricing concerns, the bank's chief executive said.

'We will launch the sukuk in the first quarter of this year,' Adnan Ahmed Yousif said in an interview on the sidelines of an Islamic finance and banking conference in Oman.

Albaraka Turk Participation Bank is Al Baraka's largest unit and the first bank in Turkey to operate on Islamic principles. It said in December it had postponed the planned issue because the yields investors expected were too high.

Strong demand for a $350 million sukuk issued by Turkish bank Kuveyt Turk in October has underlined how Turkey may become a major source of Islamic bonds for Gulf investors keen to diversify geographically.

The Islamic banking group posted a net income of $166 million in the first nine months of 2011, an increase of 13 percent over the same period in 2010.

'2012 will be better than 2011, we anticipate to improve our balance sheet by 15 percent over last year,' Yousif said.

In October, he said Al Baraka Bank was keen on expanding into Libya following the change in government, and to expedite its previously filed Islamic banking license in the country.

'We are planning another 50 branches in 2012, in countries such as Turkey, Pakistan, Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia,' he said.

He also reiterated that the creation of a long-touted $3 billion Islamic megabank would still go ahead, and the project was now placed in the hands of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

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