The correction in the global Sukuk market is here to stay

Absent its biggest issuer, the global market for sukuk will remain at below-peak levels in 2016, Standard & Poor’s said in a report published today, “The Global Sukuk Market: The Correction Is Here To Stay.”

Standard & Poor’s Rating Services expects issuance to reach $50 billion-$55 billion in 2016, compared with $63.5 billion in 2015 and $116.4 billion in 2014.

The correction started last year, mainly because the central bank of Malaysia (Bank Negara Malaysia; BNM)–the largest issuers of Sukuk worldwide–stopped issuing. Excluding the BNM effect, Sukuk issuance dropped by around five% in 2015 from 2014.

“In our view, three main factors will shape the performance of the Sukuk market in 2016:  monetary policy developments in the U.S. and Europe, the drop in oil prices, and the possible lifting of sanctions on Iran,” said Standard & Poor’s global head of Islamic Finance, Mohamed Damak.

The first two factors are likely to drain liquidity from global and local markets. We think that if oil prices remain weak, some governments of oil-exporting countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Malaysia may have no other choice than to reduce investment spending, resulting in lower financing needs and potentially lower issuances (conventional and Islamic).

In addition, we think that several issuing countries might decide to go the conventional route, rather the Islamic route, because it is less complex.

However, the market could benefit from the European Central Bank’s program of quantitative easing (QE) in a yield-hunting environment pushing some European investors to the Sukuk market.

Also, if sanctions against Iran are lifted, and the country starts spending more on infrastructure projects, we could see some new growth opportunities there for the Sukuk market.

Over the next few years, we believe the market will benefit from the greater involvement of traditional stakeholders–such as the Islamic Development Bank Group, the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), and the International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM)–as well as new ones like the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“These institutions are now working on several projects to strengthen the foundations of the Islamic finance industry and prepare it for greater innovation and accelerated growth,” said Mr. Damak.

Copyright reserved to CPI Financial 2016

You may also like

Leave a comment