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ISLAMIC BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Malaysia

Irish group to issue sukuk in Malaysia

Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board may become the first large non-financial company from Europe to sell Islamic bonds.

The group plant to by issue a sukuk in Malaysia, which could help to develop a new source of funding for European firms.

"As part of ESB’s overall funding programme, we are exploring many different options and are looking at the option of a bond in Malaysia,” said a spokeswoman for the state-owned utility.

Kieran Donoghue, head of the Irish Development Authority (IDA), said ESB was considering a sukuk issue within the next 12 to 18 months. The IDA, a government organisation which attracts foreign direct investment to Ireland, is assisting the company with the issue, he said.

A source familiar with the matter said ECB had applied to Malaysian regulators for permission to issue a sukuk, and that the company might raise €1 billion or RM4 billion.

Structuring of the sukuk could begin as early as January, once the application is approved by Malaysia’s central bank. It might have multiple tranches denominated in currencies such as US dollars and Malaysian ringgit, the source said.

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