Kenya looks to UK in Islamic finance

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 4 Mar 2016

Sukuk – or Islamic bonds – may be the new eurobonds, as Kenya becomes the latest in a long line of African countries to announce plans to issue one. It is currently amending banking legislation to accommodate this, claiming its maiden issuance can be expected in the next 18 months.

Governments in Senegal, South Africa and most recently the Ivory Coast have all entered the Islamic debt markets in the past 24 months, and Nigeria’s plans are well underway after its Osun State issued the country’s first sukuk – though naira-denominated – in 2013.

Advisory board member to the UK Islamic Finance Council (UKIFC) Omar Shaikh, who has been advising the Kenyan Capital Markets Authority, said it has also been looking to the example set by the UK. The UK government issued a heavily oversubscribed sukuk in...