1/7/2009

Turkey to lure Gulf funds with new bonds

Arab News - Turkey in its own unique way is bumbling into the Islamic capital markets through the planned issuance of its debut sovereign Sukuk (Islamic bond). Turkish bankers such as Meliksah Utku, Chief Economist of Albaraka Turk Participation Bank, a member of the Bahrain-incorporated Albaraka Banking Group, and Avsar Sungurlu, assistant managing director of BMD Securities, which in 2006 launched the first Islamic exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the world off the Dow Jones Islamic Market (DJIM) index, are confident that the Islamic capital market instruments will take off in Turkey as soon as the government issues a benchmark Sukuk. They also stress that with the conventional financial markets in turmoil, and with plenty of liquidity in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the time for Turkey to issue a Sukuk is very conducive and has to a large extent been prompted by the credit crunch and financial crisis.