LONDON, – The Republic of Tunisia has sent banks request for proposals (RFPs) for a potential US dollar denominated sukuk transaction, according to market sources.
The sovereign, rated at Ba3/B/BB-, hopes to complete the Islamic bond debut by the end of the year, an informed source said.
If successful, Tunisia would become the fifth sovereign to issue a debut sukuk in 2014, following the UK, Sharjah, Hong Kong, South Africa and Luxembourg.
Tunisia would be more of a natural investment for Islamic investors than some of those sovereigns as many of these Sukuk issuers are not Muslim-majority countries, a second banker said.
As the overwhelming majority of the local investors are expected to be Muslims, and the language is a non-issues, the debut hopes to attract large number of Muslim investors from other Gulf countries.
Tunisia has been active in capital markets recently. It issued a JPY50bn Samurai bond earlier this month and a US$500m 2021 note in July, a deal backed by US AID.