Global Sukuk issuance in 2021 is far short of the records set in previous years as the rise in U.S. Treasury yields sends shivers through fixed-income markets around the globe.
Sovereign and corporate borrowers globally have sold about $2 billion of Shariah-compliant debt this year. That’s the lowest amount in a comparable period since 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Treasury prices slid dramatically last week, driven by shifts from investors who see faster economic growth taking hold worldwide. Central banks around the world may have to adjust their stimulative policies accordingly.
Higher oil prices, lower COVID-19 related stimulus packages, and, accelerated economic activities in the Muslim world and elsewhere, have all contributed to the decline in the Sukuk issuances around the globe.
“With surging Treasury yields, Sukuk issuance has been unsurprisingly subdued,” Akber Khan, senior director of asset management at Al Rayan Investment in Doha, said. “Issuers would rather wait for some calm.”
U.S. Treasury yields have soared over the past week as inflation bets picked up, prompting a fixed-income selloff globally. That forced a rising tally of money managers to scale back market exposures while Wall Street strategists pared back their bullish playbooks.
Adding to the muted Sukuk issuance, the rally in oil prices left “regional sovereigns with shrinking deficit predictions and less pressure to raise capital,” Khan said. “Banks also have plenty of liquidity so have been more focused on raising quasi-equity capital instead.”
Moody’s Investors Service doesn’t expect Sukuk issuance to pick up for the rest of the year. The rating company expects global long-term sovereign issuance to be moderate this year after record sales in 2020, as higher oil prices, lower coronavirus-related expenditure, and accelerating economic activity help reduce financing needs.
However, it may be noted that Malaysia is expected to maintain its lead in global Sukuk issuances in 2021. Last year, its share of Sukuk issuances was 32% closely followed by Saudi Arabia with 28% of the total Sukuk market in the world.