The UAE emirate of Sharjah is planning to raise at least $500m from the sale of a dollar-denominated sukuk, which could be the first sovereign bond issuance from the region this year.

Six local and international banks have been mandated for the sale of potential sukuk including HSBC, which is leading the transaction, according to news agency Reuters, which cited sources familiar with the matter.

Sharjah aims to sell the Islamic bond in the first quarter of 2016 year and could announce investor meetings for the deal as early as this month, according to Reuters, which said an official at Sharjah’s Department of Finance declined to comment on the matter.