Kazakhstan will revive plans this year for a $500 million debut sukuk issue that could create a benchmark for corporate lenders aiming to develop an Islamic finance sector in Central Asia’s top economy.

Kazakhstan also plans to attract up to $10 billion in Islamic finance over the next five to seven years, Arken Arystanov, chairman of the state-run agency that regulates the Regional Financial Centre of Almaty (RFCA), said on Monday.

Oil-rich Kazakhstan, where 70 percent of the 16.4 million population are Muslim, is being touted as a potential new market for Islamic finance.



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