DFM issues sukuk issuing standards
Dubai, April 3, 2014
Dubai Financial Market (DFM) has published the 'Standard for Issuing, Acquiring, and Trading Sukuk,' as part of its efforts to enhance the regulatory environment of Islamic finance and capital markets.
The sukuk standard is DFM’s most recent contribution to the Islamic finance sector as it has published its 'Standard for Issuing, Acquiring, and Trading of Shares' immediately after the transformation of DFM into the first sharia’a compliant exchange globally in 2007.
The new standard creates a favourable environment for the sector which has gained greater momentum since the launch of ‘Dubai the Capital of Islamic Economy’ initiative in early 2013, followed by the launch of ‘Dubai, the Global Sukuk Centre,’ the first executive plan of the initiative.
The total value of sukuk listed on Dubai capital markets has been increased 103 per cent to Dh68.6 billion ($18.6 billion) by the end of the first quarter compared to Dh33.8 billion at the beginning of last year.
The standard is the outcome of extensive efforts and contributions of the DFM Fatwa and Sharia’a Board as well as various sharia’a scholars and experts who participated in the hearing session held by DFM in March 2013 and was attended by 45 Islamic financial services experts who submitted a number of suggestions which were taken into consideration when drafting this comprehensive final version of the standard.
The key amendments and add-ons to the draft of the standard issues in 2013 are:
1. Addressing the issuance guidelines and information to be included in the issuance prospectus, in addition to listing the procedures and the rules for trading and redemption.
2. Identifying the Sukuk Shari’a Committee and the possibility of the DFM’s Fatwa and Shari’a Board to replace it when inexistent.
3. Clarifying the nature of the Sukuk investment in regards to the sukuk holders’ entitlement to gains (Ghonm) and liability for losses (Ghorm).
4. Reaffirming the permissibility of the distribution of reward to Sukuk holders as a donation from the sukuk manager.
5. Stressing the independence of the legal entity as well the financial liability of the special purpose vehicle, SPV, from those of the sukuk originator.
6. Defining the lawful ways to protect the sukuk holders rights and hedge the risk of their sukuk investment.
7. Increasing the allowable percentage of cash and debt from 70 to 90 per cent of the total underlying sukuk assets.
8. Stating the permissibility of the periodical calculation and payment of the incentive to the Sukuk manager during the financial year, for each profit distributing period after a constructive liquidation and not necessarily at the end of the year.
Essa Abdulfattah Kazim, chairman of DFM and secretary general of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center, said: “The ‘DFM Standard for Issuing, Acquiring, and Trading Sukuk’ will create a broad standardisation environment for the Islamic finance sector and complement the “Standard for Issuing, Acquiring, and Trading of Shares” published by DFM in 2007 as well as add to the successes achieved by the ‘Dubai the Capital of Islamic Economy’ initiative within this short period.
“This all-inclusive standard will be the focal reference for Islamic finance institutions as well as sukuk issuers and investors globally, and encourage the issuance of sukuk instead of conventional bonds and the introduction of new sharia’a compliant financial products.” - TradeArabia News Service