Sukuk issuance seen flat at best in 2022: S&P

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S&P Global Ratings said that it expects global sukuk issuance volumes to be flat at best in 2022, amid decreasing liquidity and rising borrowing costs, as well as higher oil prices cutting some core Islamic finance countries’ funding needs.

While economic transformation goals such as Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 may usher in some sukuk opportunities, S&P sees volumes at about $145 billion-$150 billion in 2022 from $147.4 billion last year, which fell by $1 billion from 2020.

“Amid a tight job market, accelerated inflation readings over the past few months, and increasingly hawkish forward guidance from the US Federal Reserve, we now expect three rate hikes in 2022, with the first expected in May,” S&P said in a report.

Gulf countries would follow suit with similar rate hikes as their currencies are pegged to the dollar. “Notably, we assume a period of higher oil prices, together with higher production and tighter spending control, will result in lower financing needs for some core Islamic finance countries.”

The implementation of a regulatory standard last year by Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) caused “a period of dislocation,” with sukuk issuance dropping 64% in the United Arab Emirates, S&P said.

Sri Lanka central bank to get $400mn swap line from India’s RBI Reuters reported in May that the adoption by the United Arab Emirates of the standards had slowed the issuance of sukuk from the Gulf, adding to a chronic supply-demand imbalance.—Reuters

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