Tunisia plans 1bn dinar sukuk

Tunisia’s government is working alongside the Islamic Development Bank to pave the way for a 1bn dinar ($700m) sukuk sale scheduled for later this year. According to finance minister Elyes Fakhfakh, it would set a benchmark for companies seeking to tap the Islamic debt markets. He said the government would target 80 per cent external investors and 20 per cent domestic. However, the lost of the investment-grade rating, slow economic growth and bank liquidity concerns may put investors off the government’s sukuk. The country is also seeking a $1.7bn loan from the International Monetary Fund to help stabilise the economy and plans to issue US government-backed bonds.