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Thursday, 28 June 2018

Egypt could issue Islamic bonds next fiscal year

Egypt may tap the global sukuk market in FY2018-19, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait tells Bloomberg in an interview. The plan to issue Islamic Sharia-compliant bonds in USD or EUR “would mark a revival of a plan shelved since 2013 when the government under then-Islamist President Mohamed Morsi issued the law to pave the way for the country’s first Islamic bond.” The legislative framework for the issuance of sovereign sukuks is still under study, according to Maait, who said he expects an offering to generate a lot of interest. Background: The idea of issuing sovereign sukuk was first revived back in 2016, at which time Maait said the government would begin drafting a mechanism for their launch during FY2016-17.

Other highlights: Maait repeated what he told us earlier this week about the possibility of additional stake sales in state-owned companies in July and August (note we’re talking sales of stakes in already-listed companies here, not yet new IPOs). The minister also telegraphed that Egypt will continue nudging its deficit funding mix toward “long term borrowing rather than costly short-term debt.”

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