KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 (Bernama) — The Securities Commission (SC) has approved 22 Sukuk issues totalling RM17.7 billion in the first half of this year, accounting for 31 percent of the total bonds approved during the period.

Sukuk issuances here whether in Ringgit or in U.S. dollars are expected to remain attractive as Malaysia has a strong domestic investors base to anchor the distribution of major sukuk issues, said its chairman Datuk Zarinah Anwar.

“Sukuk pricing for Malaysia-originated issues are highly competitive and there is also strong availability of expertise as well as an established regulatory framework which meets both Syariah and legal requirement,” she said.

Malaysia pioneered the development of the global sukuk market with the launch of the first sovereign five-year global sukuk in 2002.

Since then, the country’s sukuk market had experienced unprecedented growth with Malaysia firmly established as one of the largest issuers of sukuk over the years, she said in her keynote address at the Malaysian Islamic Finance Issuers and Investors Forum 2008.

Last year, 76 percent of bonds approved by SC were sukuk. — BERNAMA