Qatar Plans $4bn Sukuk

The Gulf state is reportedly setting up two companies through an official decree to issue the Islamic bonds.

Qatar plans to issue up to $4 billion in Islamic bonds, or Sukuk, through two companies that the Gulf state will set up through a decree issued by the Crown Prince, local daily Al Watan newspaper said on Monday.

Qatar, the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporter, had picked Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank , HSBC, Barwa Bank and QInvest to help arrange a new sovereign Sukuk, sources told Reuters in May.

Qatar sent a request for proposals (RFP) to banks in April, the sources said. “The mandate is out. It’s a government of Qatar Sukuk and the RFP was sent,” said one banking source away from the deal.

Qatar last tapped global debt markets with a $5 billion conventional multi-tranche bond in November, capitalising on investor appetite for safe havens amid market uncertainty.

Its last foray into Islamic debt markets in 2003 raised $700 million from a seven-year Sukuk that was joint-lead managed by HSBC and Qatar International Islamic Bank.

Qatar’s finance minister said in March that the state planned one or two sovereign issuances per year on average, not because it needed money but to help develop local debt markets.