The sukuk will represent the Bahrain government’s commitment of $200 million pledged at the Paris II donors’ conference in November (MEED 29:11:02). The instrument will be priced preferentially to prevailing market rates. Other governments, including Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, have met their commitments through Eurobonds but Manama is the first to do so through a sukuk. Bahrain’s Ministry of Finance & National Economy has assisted Beirut in structuring the instrument.

‘An agreement will be reached with the banks soon and then we will assess the market to decide where the sukuk will be marketed,’ says an official at Lebanon’s Finance Ministry. ‘The appetite for these instruments is excellent at the moment as witnessed by Qatar’s recent experience. Sukuks are a major growth area for investors.’

Doha launched a $700 million sukuk on 30 September, which was raised from $500 million due to heavy oversubscription.