Offa: Govt’s second Sukuk is “great news for Islamic finance industry”
The UK government has issued its second sovereign Sukuk, which bridging lender Offa has welcomed as “great news for the UK Islamic finance industry.”
The UK issued its first £500m sovereign Sukuk in 2014, making it the first country outside the Islamic world to do so.
This second Sukuk offering is more than double the size of the first issuance, aiming to increase the supply of Sharia-compliant, liquid assets to the market and support the development of Islamic finance products in the UK.
Sultan Choudhury (pictured), chairman of Offa, said: “Firstly, it shows the UK government’s continued commitment to Islamic finance through the reissuance of the government sukuk, which is an alternative to fixed income government bonds.
He added that this issuance shows the growing importance of Islamic finance vehicles in the UK.
Choudhury said: “It shows growth in demand as this issuance is twice the size of the previous sukuk issuance at £500m.
“The sukuk will provide UK Islamic banks with high quality liquid assets and provides a sovereign-rated GBP Islamic debt instrument to overseas investors too.
“It is a strong signal that post Brexit, the UK is keen to engage with the burgeoning global Islamic Finance sector.”