SOVEREIGN SUKUK ISSUE EXPECTED?
has quoted sources close to government on the possibility of the imminent issue of sovereign sukuk to shore up the upcoming budget deficit. Anonymous sources have told the news agency that Qatar will return to international debt markets after the announcement that a QR46.5 billion ($12.8 billion) deficit in 2016. The sources also mentioned that talks are underway with a small group of banks to select arrangers for the first of these deals and the first dollardenominated sukuk may be issued as early as March or April. This would be the first time Qatar would be tapping the debt market since July 2012, when it priced a $4 billion two-part sukuk issue. The source added that a sukuk issue would be the most likely route for a government debt issue, because the liquidity in the Islamic banking system was better than within the conventional banking market.