Dubai Islamic postpones sukuk amid coronavirus volatility: sources

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© Reuters. Dubai Islamic postpones sukuk amid coronavirus volatility: sources© Reuters. Dubai Islamic postpones sukuk amid coronavirus volatility: sources

By Yousef Saba

DUBAI (Reuters) – Dubai Islamic Bank (DU:) (DIB) has postponed a planned issuance of U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk due to market conditions resulting from the new coronavirus outbreak, three sources familiar with the matter said.

DIB, the largest Islamic bank in the United Arab Emirates, hired banks to arrange the Islamic bonds last month, a document showed on Feb. 20.

It was planning to raise the financing – likely to be $750 million – on Feb. 26, but decided to wait for better market conditions, said one of the sources.

DIB did not immediately return a request for comment.

The potential deal received a good response from investors while it was being marketed, but volatility in the debt markets as the coronavirus outbreak intensifies would have increased the sukuk profit rate, said the source.

DIB has hired a group of banks including Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered (LON:) to arrange the deal.

Fund managers have said a rise in regional bond spreads since the beginning of the year suggests the impact of the virus outbreak on global economic growth may translate into higher funding costs for Middle East debt issuers, potentially curbing new borrowing.

The cost of insuring against sovereign debt defaults by Gulf Arab states has also recently risen.

All the Gulf countries except Saudi Arabia have reported cases of the new coronavirus, many in people who had been to Iran, where 54 people have died from the virus and 978 have been infected.

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