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Brunei plans long-tenor sukuk in "very near future" - regulator
The Sultanate would join the likes of Jordan, Ivory Coast and Kazakhstan in considering sukuk, adding to expectations that sovereigns will dominate issuance of Islamic debt this year.
The Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) wants to develop the local capital market to help shift the economy away from oil and gas exports, with plans to launch a securities exchange as early as 2017.
Long-tenor sukuk could open a new funding source for the government as well as create a benchmark for local firms.
"This is to further develop the capital market in Brunei Darussalam and create a deeper and more liquid sukuk market, in line with the objectives of the program" the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) said in a statement.
The AMBD did not give a specific timeframe or potential size for the deal. Since 2006, the AMBD has issued sukuk in maturities of up to 1 year for use by the country's seven domestic commercial banks, but never in longer tenors.
The new sukuk will be available to buyers outside the domestic banking sector.
Brunei's lease-based ijara program has 600 million Brunei dollars ($445.2 million) worth of sukuk currently outstanding. It issued a 3-month 100 million Brunei dollar sukuk this month.
A plunge in oil prices since last year is prompting oil-dependent economies to tap into debt markets to plug budget shortfalls.Oman plans a debut sukuk transaction this year and Saudi Arabia's finance minister has said domestic debt issuance would be considered.
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