DOHA: QInvest, Qatar’s leading investment bank and one of the most prominent Islamic financial institutions in the world, will be hosting an ‘Islamic Finance Seminar’ in London in partnership with London Stock Exchange (LSE) on May 16 to discuss challenges and opportunities related to Shariah-compliant finance, including raising capital through Islamic bonds called sukuk.
Speakers and panelists confirmed for this event include Alexander Armstrong, Head of Financial Institutions & Structured Finance at QInvest; Hani Ibrahim, Head of Debt Capital Markets at QInvest; Stella Cox, Managing Director at DDGI Ltd; and Debashis Dey, Partner at Clifford Chance.
Pietro Poletto, Head of Fixed Income Markets, LSE Group, said: “LSE is a key global venue for the issuance of sukuk. It is the leading western centre for Islamic Finance and is at the forefront of key developments in Europe. To date, over $38bn has been raised through 53 issues of these alternative finance investment bonds on our markets. London’s position in the Islamic Finance world is strengthened by the support of the UK government, most notably by its recent announcement to issue a UK government sukuk which aims to raise £200m ($320m). Participation in alternative investment financing is steadily growing in the UK and LSE is well placed to be the centre of western Islamic Finance.”
Ibrahim of QInvest added: “The sukuk market is building strong growth momentum and demand continues to outstrip supply due to the continued growth in Islamic banking and financial assets. 2013 was a strong year for QInvest and saw us advising on $3.5bn of sukuk transactions. As issuers are increasingly looking for ways to diversify their funding, we expect another busy year in 2014, with increased activity from outside of the Mena region including the UK and Europe.”
Armstrong said: “The move by London to position itself as a global Islamic finance hub has provided an immense boost to the sukuk industry. It has acted as a catalyst for developing a legislative and regulatory environment conducive for Islamic bonds, thereby encouraging more activity from issuers.”
The sukuk market has experienced extremely rapid growth in recent years. The total value of sukuk issuance over a 20-year period up to 2010 amounted to $201.6bn whilst the value of sukuk issuance in the last three years (2011-2013) has exceeded $336bn.
The LSE is a key global venue for the listing of sukuk. It is the leading western centre for Islamic finance and is at the forefront of key developments in Europe. In 2013, the UK government reinforced its intentions to become the global centre for Islamic Finance by announcing the future issue of a UK government Sukuk which aims to raise £200m.