ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, eyeing to raise up to $1 billion by issuing dollar-dominated sukuk, will conclude the transaction on the evening of November 26 in a bid to build up its much-needed foreign currency reserves, government officials said on Saturday.
“We hope to conclude Sukuk bond on evening of 26th November,” Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar told The News.
Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves stood at $13.228 billion including $8.493 billion held by State Bank of Pakistan and $4.734 billion held by commercial banks.
Finance Minister Dar had envisaged target to touch $15 billion mark on account of foreign currency reserves till December 31, 2014 which would enable Islamabad to qualify for IBRD funding of the World Bank.
Sources in the Finance Ministry said the country would offer $500 million of Islamic notes and the exact size of the bond would depend upon offers which expected to be over $1 billion. Keeping in view rampant liquidity for Islamic paper in debt market, Pakistani authorities are expecting that the country will be able to muster up required support for its upcoming transaction with the help of investors belonging to Middle East and western part of the world.
But the independent economists are suggesting the government to stick on its planned worth of $500 million in order to remain on the radar screen of investors and there was no need to prove the country as desperate borrower by seeking more funds.
For this asset-based Islamic paper, Pakistan’s economic managers will kick-start three road shows from Monday to November 25 in Dubai, Singapore and London. Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Secretary Finance and Governor State Bank of Pakistan will participate in these arranged road shows to lure potential investors.
Islamabad had selected Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered as lead managers for this transaction and would be responsible to hold road shows and luring investors towards planned paper.
The country is likely to attract investor interest because of high appetite for Sukuk all around the world and that would also support the demand for Pakistan’s offering. The country has no outstanding global Sukuk.
The government has yet to announce the size and maturity for Sukuk, but the market predicts a 10-year Sukuk would probably yield from 7.25 to 7.5, while a five-year note will pay from six percent to 6.5 percent.
After successful completion of fourth and fifth reviews at the IMF staff level, the Fund’s executive board is scheduled to consider approval of $1.1 billion for Pakistan’s struggling economy on December 17 in Washington D.C which would help Islamabad increasing its foreign currency reserves to touch the desired mark of $15 billion by end of this calendar year.
Pakistan had launched Eurobond in April last which was oversubscribed by investors and the country generated $2 billion against its initial demand of $500 million.
Through Eurobond, the government had raised $1 billion through five-year bonds at a fixed rate of 7.25 percent, which are 558 basis points above the benchmark five-year US Treasury rate. The rest of the $1 billion was generated through 10-year bonds at a fixed rate of 8.25 percent — 556 basis points above the corresponding 10-year US Treasury benchmark rate.
Originally published on www.thenews.com.pk