Friday, August 29, 2008

Islamic bonds: The future of Indonesian finance?

Extra marks for chutzpah to the Indonesia government, for debuting new financial instruments during the worst global credit crisis in a generation. They're called sukuk, or Islamic bonds, and they're meant to produce bond-like returns while complying with Islam's prohibition against interest. Their first offering from the finance ministry raised almost $5 trillion rupiah (a shade over $500 million), with forerign-currency sukuk slated to kick off later this year.

The offering was seen as a disappointment, but let's keep things in perspective. As world economies slow and banking sectors enter virtual meltdown, investors are terrified of anything and everything. They're hoarding cash until this all blows over, and credit markets move beyond total paralysis. In that context, securing a decent sum - with an instrument most Western investors don't even know or comprehend - isn't such a bad showing. After all, raising cash in this environment ain't easy ... just ask Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Check out the Financial Times' take here:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/733b4b12-73ce-11dd-8a66-0000779fd18c.html

1 comment:

One Simple Tech said...

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