Tunisia may delay Sukuk issue to next year
Tunisia’s first issue of a sukuk is likely to be postponed to next year. Tunisia had originaly planned to issue a sovereign sukuk this July to raise $700 million. Thus, the government wanted to push through a legislation to permit the issue, and hoped parliament would approve the bill by end-April or early May. But so far, the parliament has not begun considering the legislation because it has been occupied drafting a new constitution that would permit elections expected later this year. Postponing the $700 million issue will increase pressure on the country’s budget this year. Tunisia is running a large state budget deficit, which it has projected at about $3.2 billion this year, and the sukuk was intended to help fill that gap. Tunisia might have to use IMF funds to fill the gap left by the sukuk delay.