Mali to join regional Sukuk sphere with debut seven-year paper

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MALI: The Republic of Mali is tapping the Sukuk market for the first time ever, in a move that would allow the West African nation to graduate into a growing network of African sovereign Sukuk issuers amid a global Islamic finance boom.

The Ibrahim Boubacar Keita administration is looking to raise XOF150 billion (US$284.74 million) through the Islamic capital markets this quarter. The program, facilitated by the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), has been launched to the retail and institutional market, with subscriptions scheduled to close on the 16th February, according to a document viewed by IFN.

Proceeds from the inaugural issuance, a seven-year paper carrying an annual profit rate of 6.25%, will fund the development of a program of 3,665 social housing units and the construction of 1,250 new units. It is open to investors from West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) member countries and beyond, where permitted.

The Sukuk issuance forms a part of the government’s 2018 XOF547 billion (US$1.04 billion) public securities program to support the development of infrastructure within the Muslim-majority country of 18 million. 

Mali will join neighbors Togo, Senegal and Ivory Coast in the regional sovereign Sukuk space which has been spurred largely with the support from the ICD, which has placed the African region on the global map as an emerging Islamic finance and investment destination. Five sovereign Sukuk, worth a combined XOF766 billion (US$1.45 billion) from WAEMU are listed on the regional exchange BRVM since October 2016.

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