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The IIFM’s Annual Sukuk Report Finds Sukuk Primary Market Issuances Amounted to $174.6billion

The International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) announced the launch of the 10th Anniversary Edition of its Annual Sukuk Report. The research report provides comprehensive information on global Sukuk issuances, types of issuers, Sukuk structures, case studies on select landmark issuances, articles on Sukuk market developments and prospects as well as country-focused reports on IIFM founding member countries and major Sukuk issuing jurisdictions.

The research finds that the year 2020 saw the market close with a record total of short-term and long-term Sukuk primary market issuances amounting to $174.6billion resulting in an increase of 19.84% in Sukuk issuances compared to 2019. The longer tenor Sukuk issuances by sovereigns and financial institutions coupled with an increase in short-term Sukuk issuances by various issuers resulted in maintaining the upward trend of the year 2019.

The report identifies that as of December 2020, over 90% of the $648billion Sukuk outstanding globally were issued from well-established markets namely Malaysia, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Bahrain while the market share of Pakistan, Qatar, Oman, Nigeria, Egypt and regions such as Africa is increasing gradually. Also, $98.4billion Sukuk (with issue size of $100million or above and with tenor of more than a year) is set to mature in the next two years 2021 and 2022.

The report mentions that despite the unprecedented situation caused by covid-19 during the year 2020, the impact of the pandemic was confined and limited to a few corporate issuers. Overall, Sukuk remained an attractive instrument and the positive growth trajectory has continued during first half of 2021.

“There is an increasing need to address various challenges which come with the evolution of any financial instrument. These should be tackled by creating greater transparency and standardisation in financial documentation and practices. I sincerely hope that issuers, as well as the investors, drive maximum benefits from Sukuk related standards published by IIFM and other standard-setting organisations of the industry,” said Mr. Khalid Hamad Al Hamad, Chairman of IIFM.

“While standardisation brings the necessary unification, efficiency and transparency required for the advancement of the Sukuk market, it is also important that the industry stakeholders provide support for continued innovation in the Sukuk market particularly in the areas of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) goals, Fintech and Waqf focused Sukuk. These factors present a huge potential that will play a major role in the development of Sukuk market in years to come,” said Mr. Ijlal Ahmed Alvi, Chief Executive Officer of IIFM.

The report was launched at a special online event where an expert panel of international speakers representing Islamic Development Bank, Labuan Financial Services Authority (Malaysia), International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM), Kuwait Finance House, Standard Chartered Bank, Clifford Chance LLP, DDCAP Limited, Bedford Row Capital, Genesis Consulting and Istanbul Zaim University spoke on Sukuk issuances in the time of covid-19, trends and expectations in Sukuk structuring, buy-side and sell-side perspectives, tangibility ratios, Sustainable Development Goals and the evolving Sukuk market as well as IIFM’s Sukuk Al Ijarah and Sukuk Al Mudarabah Standards.

In his keynote address, Mr. Nik Mohamed Din, Director-General of Labuan FSA and Vice Chairman of IIFM said: “The IIFM Annual Sukuk Report, now in its tenth year, has made significant contributions to the industry while IIFM standards including Sukuk documentation standards are playing an important role in harmonisation of the industry”. He also spoke on the rise of sustainable investment following ESG agenda and transition into a clean environment, the role of Labuan IBFC and Malaysia in the development of Islamic capital market as well as technological advancements and innovations is the Islamic finance space.

In his special address, Dr. Zamir Iqbal, Vice President, Finance (Chief Financial Officer), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Jeddah, spoke about IsDB’s journey on the Sustainability Sukuk program and on the potential of ESG Sukuk in Islamic capital market. He emphasized rapid developments fueling the demand for ESG-eccentric financial instruments which play a vital role in a sustainable and green post-covid recovery. “This will offer attractive opportunities for Sukuk issuers to cater to growing demand,” he stated.

The webinar was attended by more than 250 participants from financial institutions, multilateral institutions, regulatory bodies, stock exchanges, law firms, accounting and business advisory firms and educational institutions from around 26 countries.

Mr. Alvi, acknowledged the continuous support of the Central Bank of Bahrain, Securities Commission Malaysia, Bank Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam Central Bank, Capital Markets Board of Turkey, Central Bank of Sudan and the State Bank of Pakistan in verification of Sukuk issuances data.

He also thanked the IIFM research team, contributors of Sukuk case studies and articles from leading financial institutions, country focus reports from member countries’ regulators and the valuable support from the sponsors namely Eiger Trading, GFH Group, Bank ABC Islamic, Kuwait Finance House, Dubai Islamic Bank, DDCAP Limited and Labuan FSA which made the production of this report possible.


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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