Egypt sets size of debut sukuk at $1-2 billion: minister

Egypt has set the size of its planned debut Islamic bond or sukuk issue between $1 billion and $2 billion, its Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told CNBC Arabia on Wednesday.

The North African country announced on Tuesday its plans to start issuing sukuk, or sharia-compliant Islamic bonds, in the second half of the current financial year 2021/2022, i.e. the first half of 2022. Though the exact timing of the first offering is yet to be determined, Maait said at the time that the executive regulations for a new law allowing for issuance of sukuk are expected in the next three months.

The government plans to set up a state-owned company to manage the sukuk issuance, which could be offered in local or foreign currency, the finance ministry’s Tuesday statement read.

Returns on sukuk, which could be offered in local or foreign currency, would be taxed in the same way as Egyptian treasury bonds, the statement added.

The money raised through sukuk issue is aimed at helping finance the government’s social and economic development projects.

The sukuk will be Egypt’s fourth source of financing, along with treasury bills, domestic loans, and credit facilities, and foreign loans, and credit facilities.

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