First US sukuk boosts Islamic finance

Author: Nicholas Pettifer | Published: 10 Dec 2009

GE Capital’s $500 million sukuk programme is the first investment grade sukuk by a US corporate and it will increase the appetite amongst US companies for Islamic finance.

“I think the future of Islamic finance is robust and this transaction has helped prove it,” said Lewis Cohen, partner at Clifford Chance in New York. “There are plenty of other major US names who have an interest in the Gulf now.”

The deal was based on an ijara sukuk structure, but the leases sold to the sukuk vehicle already existed.

“We had to strip out anything in those...