DIFC Knowledge Series Seminar Explores Bonds and Sukuks

Discussed listing requirements for Sukuks in international financial markets

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) today hosted a seminar to highlight the infrastructure and support it provides organisations seeking to attract investment through bonds and sukuks (Shari'a-compliant bonds).

Titled 'Structuring and Issuing Bonds and Sukuks', the seminar was the fourth event that formed part of the DIFC Knowledge Series, a regular series of seminars organised by DIFC to raise awareness about its infrastructure, regulations and business support services. Senior officials from DIFC Authority, and the Dubai Financial Services Authority spoke at the event.

Abdulla Al Awar, Managing Director of DIFC Authority said: "Bonds and sukuks have become a vital financing tool for companies and governments in emerging markets. Well-functioning local bond and sukuk markets reduce exclusive reliance on bank loans. They also widen the set of financial instruments available for savers and investors and broaden investment opportunities. DIFC provides a platform for governments and companies to efficiently and competitively issue these securities. The financial district's regulations, the pool of global expertise available within the DIFC community, and the access offered to an internationally linked market through Nasdaq Dubai provide the ideal support for companies and governments seeking to tap regional and international investors through bonds and sukuks."

NASDAQ Dubai is the largest exchange in the world for sukuk listings by value with 20 sukuks worth $16.45 billion listed on the exchange. In 2008 alone, nine sukuks worth $6.33 billion were listed on the exchange. It also lists conventional bonds.

Martin Kinsky, Managing Director - Markets, DFSA said: "DIFC continues to be an excellent location for the issuance of debt instruments in the region. The DFSA is committed to monitoring world developments to ensure that its regulatory standards are effective and efficient to assist the growth of the financial services industry in DIFC."

Amit Sahi, Senior Manager, Listings, NASDAQ Dubai, said: "As the region's international exchange, NASDAQ Dubai is committed to providing an effective listing platform for fixed income issuance. We welcome issuers of conventional bonds and sukuks to our market."

Topics that were addressed at the Knowledge Series event included regulations for bonds and sukuks in DIFC; listing requirements for sukuk in Nasdaq Dubai; Shari'a compliance for sukuks; preparing a sukuk issue; and legal requirements for a bond or sukuk issuance. Speakers at the event also presented an overview of the bonds and sukuk market in the region.

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