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(Ecofin Agency) - Cote d’Ivoire successfully proceeded to its first sukuk issue. The country was able to obtain $245 million (FCFA150 billion) from the WAEMU (West African Economic and Monetary Union) market by issuing Islamic bonds between November 20 and December 21, a release dated January 13, 2016, from the public treasury reveals.

 

The geographical distribution of subscriptions to the “Sukuk Etat de Côte d’Ivoire 5,75% 2015-2020” issue shows that a significant proportion of underwriters are from outside the WAEMU and have underwrote more than FCFA67 billion, 45% of mobilized sum, the same source says.

 

Local investors underwrote more than FCFA55 billion (37% of collected amount), whereas WAEMU underwriters invested more than 26 billion FCFA (17%).

 

The distribution by category of subscribers shows that institutional investors injected 148 billion CFA, more than 98% of total. The rest was provided by firms and individuals (0.55% and 0.75% respectively).

 

The money obtained will be used to finance the new National Program for Development (PND in French).

 

Upon successfully issuing these Islamic bonds, Cote d’Ivoire was awarded Sukuk deal of the year and Africa deal of the year titles by the Islamic Finance News(IFN).

 

In April 2015, Cote d’Ivoire announced a program for the issuance of 300 billion FCFA worth of sukuks by 2020.

 

In Africa, Islamic finance is still weak despite the 400 million Muslims it holds. A study from last August by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) revealed that African countries have so far issued a billion of sovereign sukuks for a global average of $100 billion yearly over the past five years.