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Oman to issue 200m rials of bonds, sukuk

Muscat, March 13, 2013

Oman plans to issue a total of about 200 million rials ($520 million) of conventional bonds and sukuk in line with its budget financing needs, central bank chief Hamood Sangour al-Zadjali said on Wednesday.

He did not specify the timing or other details, beyond saying that the sukuk, denominated in rials, were likely to be issued towards the end of 2013 or at the start of next year.

It would be Oman's first sovereign sukuk issue, as the country is now launching an Islamic finance industry.

"We are talking with the government to issue sukuk because this is also one of the important instruments to invest excess liquidity. However, this will take some time," Zadjali told reporters. "The government needs some time to structure these sukuks to be in line with the Islamic sharia law."

He added, "There is no timetable set yet for the time being. There will be a committee established in order to study this matter and to see how this sukuk will be issued, because there are some fundamental factors we need to put in - this will have to be asset-based or asset-backed, the maturity of it. We are new in this market."-Reuters




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