Tunisia moves ahead with plans to tap sukuk market

Tunisia is working on an infrastructure to allow the government and private sector to issue sukuk, otherwise known as Islamic bonds.

Advised by the Nasdaq Dubai stock exchange, the Bourse de Tunis and the Tunisian government have set up a task force to help the country launch its first sukuk.

“Tunisia’s entry into the sukuk sector will promote international and domestic investment and confidence in our economy that will help to fund our national growth and development,” said Bilel Sahnoun, chief executive of Bourse de Tunis.

Sukuk are instruments that mimic the returns of a conventional bond in a manner that is compliant with Islamic law, which prohibits the paying of interest.

Returns on sukuk may, for instance, be structured as rent that is paid on an underlying physical asset, such as piece of real estate.

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