MB sukuk hopes to kickstart Oman market

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 8 Aug 2016
Islamic finance has been slow to take off in Oman
The first Omani sukuk to be issued after new designated regulations were introduced has successfully closed, setting a template for other corporates to follow.

Omani energy conglomerate Mohammed al Barwani's (MB) $76 million sukuk is also the first dual tranche Islamic bond in the country. As such, the local clearing house, Muscat Clearing and Depository Company, cleared and settled US dollar-denominated debt for the first time too.

The transaction follows the country’s inaugural sovereign sukuk last October, issued by the government to kickstart the Islamic finance market. This deal, which is the second corporate sukuk in Oman ever, is testament to the effectiveness of that government issuance. The sukuk is listed on the Muscat Securities Market’s newly-established Bonds and Sukuk Market following a recent capital markets overhaul.

However, the new regulations proved a particular challenge. “As...