QInvest, in partnership with London Stock Exchange (LSE), will host an Islamic Finance seminar in London on Friday, bringing together issuers to explore the opportunity of raising capital through Shariah-compliant sukuks.

Alexander Armstrong, head of financial institutions and structured finance at QInvest; Hani Ibrahim, head of debt capital markets; Stella Cox, managing director at DDGI; and Debashis Dey, partner at Clifford Chance are expected to make presentations at the seminar.

Highlighting that LSE is a key global venue for the issuance of sukuk, Pietro Poletto, head of fixed income markets, LSE, said participation in alternative investment financing is steadily growing in the UK and the bourse is well placed to be the centre of western Islamic finance.

To date, over $38bn has been raised through 53 issues of these alternative finance investment bonds on LSE markets.

“The move by London to position itself as a global Islamic finance hub has provided an immense boost to the sukuk industry. It has acted as a catalyst for developing a legislative and regulatory environment conducive for Islamic bonds, thereby encouraging more activity from issuers,” according to Armstrong.

The sukuk market is building strong growth momentum with demand continuing to outstrip supply due to the continued growth in Islamic banking and financial assets, Ibrahim said.

“As issuers are increasingly looking for ways to diversify their funding, we expect a busy year in 2014, with increased activity from outside of the Middle East and North Africa region, including the UK and Europe,” he added.

The total value of sukuk issuance over a 20-year period up to 2010 amounted to $201.6bn, while the value in the last three years (2011-2013) has exceeded $336bn.

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