ISLAMIC BANKING | Tony Chua, Malaysia

HSBC Amanah forecasts strong Asian sukuk sales

Region’s share in $1tln Islamic finance industry expected to increase amidst European and Dubai credit crises.

Sukuk issuers in Asia are likely to sell at least 10-20 percent more of Islamic paper this year with the European debt crisis seen having limited impact on Asia's growth prospects, HSBC Amanah said on Tuesday.

Malaysia and Indonesia would probably remain the region's main sukuk issuers although centres such as Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea would emerge as issuers over time, said Mukhtar Hussain, HSBC Amanah's global chief executive.

"In Asia we have positive economic growth, we have relatively high savings rates, we have liquid markets," Hussain said in an interview.

The $1 trillion Islamic finance industry is looking to Asia to shore up the sukuk market as Gulf issuers -- the other bastion of Islamic bond sales -- struggle to recover from the impact of Dubai's debt crisis.

Global sukuk sales totalled $23.3 billion last year, off the record $34.3 billion logged in 2007, according to Standard & Poor's.

Malaysia, Pakistan and Indonesia together accounted for just over half of total global sukuk issuance last year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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