Saudi Arabia has overtaken the UAE to become the largest Sukuk (Islamic bond) issuer in the Gulf region, raising $6.4 billion in Q1 2012, compared to issuance of $1.9 billion by the UAE.
Malaysia accounted for 71 per cent of total issuance and was the top Sukuk issuer with $31 billion followed by Saudi Arabia ($6.4 billion, 15 per cent of the total) and Indonesia ($3.4 billion).
Overall Sukuk issuance in Q1 was up 55 per cent on year-ago levels to reach a record $43 billion worldwide – nearly half of the whole of 2011. Sukuk issuance in 2012 could reach $126 billion by the end of this year, compared to $85 billion last year.
Sukuk are clearly becoming the weapon of choice in the financial jihad.