30/01/2017 11:36 AST

Malaysia maintained its pole position in the global sukuk arena as at end-2016, with 41.1 per cent of total sukuk issuance (compared with 48 per cent as at end-2015), says RAM Ratings.

This was followed by Indonesia (16.3 per cent or US$11.9 billion) and the United Arab Emirates (10.9 per cent or US$7.9 billion).

In a statement, the ratings agency said, “Despite a slight decline and the weaker ringgit, sukuk originated from Malaysia still summed up to US$29.9 billion as at end-2016 (US$30.4 billion as at end-2015).

“Greater sukuk issuance in non-core markets also augmented the global sukuk base to US$72.9 billion at year-end (US$63.4 billion as at end-2015) – with issues from Turkey (US$5 billion), Pakistan (US$4.8 billion) and Bangladesh (US$1.1 billion) featuring prominently.

“A total of US$18.2 billion of global sukuk was issued in the fourth quarter of 2016 (4Q16), bringing the full-year issuance to US$72.9 billion as at end-December,” it said.

“Last year, global sukuk issuance exceeded RAM’s projection of US$55 billion to US$65 billion,” said RAM’s head of Islamic Finance Ruslena Ramli.

Meanwhile, in the latest issue of RAM’s Sukuk Snapshot, RAM Ratings highlighted that a total of RM29.9 billion of domestic sukuk was issued in 4Q16, leading to an issuance value of RM129.4 billion for the full year.

The financial services and infrastructure & utilities sectors remained the chief driving forces of the better showing, which surpassed RAM’s full-year projection of RM100 billion to RM120 billion for the local-currency market.

It added, “The value of outstanding sukuk had also increased to RM661.9 billion as at end-2016 (RM608.5 billion as at end-2015), accounting for 56.3 per cent of the overall Malaysian market’s outstanding debt securities.”

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