The Sukuk is the Islamic equivalent of a conventional bond, which has been designed to be Shari'ah compliant in terms of its origination and subsequent trading. Asinterest or "riba" paying bonds are not permissible under Islamic law, the issuer of the Sukuk instead offers investors ownership of an undivided interest in an underlying asset, proportionate to their investment, and contractually promises to repurchase the bond at a future date at par, avoiding the paying of riba.
In addition under Shari'ah law, the trading of bonds on any secondary market is prohibited. The listing of a Sukuk on the ISE is a technical listing with no secondary market trading on exchange so it is permissible. Any trading in the securities is carried out on an over the counter basis off the exchange.
Since the first Sukuk listed on the Irish Stock Exchange (the "ISE") in 2005 the ISE has become the exchange of choice for Shari'ah compliant products, with sovereign and private issuers from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan all choosing to list on the ISE.
Advantages of an ISE Listing
The majority of Sukuk issuers which listed on the ISE have been domiciled in the Cayman Islands and have listed on the Main Securities Market ("MSM") of the ISE. The MSM is an EU Regulated Market. A listing on the MSM provides issuers a passport to publicly offer the listed securities throughout the EU under the Prospectus Directive.
The ISE also offers an alternative listing market – the Global Exchange Market ("GEM"). The GEM is an exchange-regulated market and offers a more flexible service to issuers applying to list.
In addition to the prestige of listing on the ISE's markets – with increased distribution opportunities and enhanced investor transparency – the ISE offers an efficient listing process and a competitive fee structure. The guaranteed document review turnaround times of the ISE make it possible to bring products to market without delay.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.