Jordan likely to issue Islamic sukuk next month.
The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) is likely to begin managing the first issue of Islamic sukuk (finance bonds) from next month in favour of the central government. CBJ Deputy Governor Adel Sharkas indicated on Sunday that the amount would range between JD400 and JD500 million (500 to 600 USD).
“The decision to issue Islamic sukuk to finance part of the accumulated deficit in the government and independent public departments’ budgets was made after official institutions succeeded in endorsing the sukuk law and its related regulations,” Sharkas said in an address opening a training workshop.
He added that funding the financial gap through Islamic sukuk will benefit the government and Islamic banks operating in the Kingdom as they have a liquidity surplus of around JD1.4 billion.
Regarding the effects of lower oil prices on the state budget, he explained that if oil prices remain around $60 per barrel, the financing needs will go down and the government would save JD180 million if fuel subsidies are halted. “Yet [the government] would lose JD76 million derived from sales tax on oil derivatives,” Sharkas indicated.
An Islamic scholar told the participants in the workshop that he expects the issuance of Islamic sukuk to increase “drastically” this year after recording an 8.2 per cent growth in the first half of 2014, reaching $66.2 billion.
Originally published on www.albawaba.com