World Bank's IFC Eyes Regular Islamic Bond Sales

The World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is selling $100 million worth of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, is looking to sell more notes every 12-18 months with larger tickets. The IFC began a roadshow earlier this week for its debut sukuk sale to be used to finance healthcare projects in Yemen and Egypt to tap demand primarily from middle East investors.

"What we thought we could do is to issue (sukuk) every 12 or 18 months," said Nina Chapiro vice-president finance and treasury for the IFC. "Going forward we are looking at other sectors," adding infrastructure was of interest. Michael Essex, director of the IFC's Middle East and North Africa department added the organisation would be targeting "larger and larger facilities."

The private sector development arm of the World Bank, has been growing its presence in the region since 2005 as it looks to bolster financing for projects in some of the world's poorest countries such as Yemen. Over the last five years, the IFC increased its projects in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan region from 21 to 46 with its commitments rising to $1.26 billion this year from $315 million in 2005, having peaked at $1.97 billion in 2008, according to its annual report.


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