By Ron Chen, Correspondent ASEAN Region
The Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Maldives, successfully priced a US$200 million debut sovereign Sukuk on 29 March 2021. The country’s first Sukuk issue will have a 5-year maturity and pays a 9.875 per cent semi-annual coupon. The proceeds of the issuance will be used to settle tender offers for the Government’s 2022 bonds.
The Senior Unsecured 144A/ Reg S Sukuk will be issued from the recently established Maldives Sukuk Issuance Limited’s US$1.0 billion Trust Certificate Issuance Programme. The issue, rated B3 by Moody’s, will settle on 8 April 2021 and will be listed on the Euronext Dublin and Nasdaq Dubai.
The Sukuk follows an Ijara structure with a Murabaha component and will be supported by rental income from assets which are owned by the Government of the Republic of Maldives.
The Joint Lead Managers and Joint Bookrunners for the issuance were The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Credit Suisse, Emirates NBD Capital and HSBC.
Commenting on the inaugural Sukuk issuance, Finance Minister of Maldives, Ibrahim Ameer said “This debut issuance marks the beginning of Maldives in the International Islamic Finance markets and reaffirms our support to develop and to remain as an active player through the diversification of our existing debt portfolio. The programme paves way for the continuous engagement with the sukuk centric investors.”