Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Islamic bonds hit paydirt

Well, the rest of global finance may be going up in flames, but at least there's one bright spot: The Indonesian government's successful issue of Islamic 'sukuk' bonds.

They'd been aiming for a 1.77 trillion issue, but ended up at a cool 5.56 trillion ($467 million). And not in any old economic environment, but the worst crisis since the Great Depression, when pretty much everyone is afraid of virtually everything - other than US Treasuries. Not a bad showing.

The sticky thing is how to issue bonds in the first place when Islam bans the charging or issuing of of interest. Sukuk represent an end-run around that problem by being structured as profit-sharing arrangements, drawing cash from underlying physical assets like rental income.

Now that the first issue has been snapped up, you know the government is going to be holding sukuk sales as often as people want to buy 'em. Like, how about tomorrow? This may not be the most politically correct salutation, but to the Finance Ministry wonks who pulled this off: Mazel tov!


Today's Top Stories

Yawning fish discovered off Indonesian coast
New species rocks scientific world

ASEAN rights: Um, later
Financial crash first order of business

Aceh peace in trouble
So says Finnish Nobel Prize winner

Mud volcano a human rights violation
Driller in big trouble for Java disaster

3 comments:

treespotter said...

I have to admit, some of the economist in this town (well, country, but mostly around this Town), they're magicians.

Good fun to watch.


Very suspenseful.

Christopher Taylor said...

In America anyway, the magician's tricks have all been exposed ... it turns out that no one really understood what these fancy derivatices even were!

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