March 5, 2018 / 10:24 AM / 17 days ago

Islamic Development Bank to launch $2.5 bln benchmark sukuk "soon" - president

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - The Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the largest development organisation in the Muslim world, will launch a $2.5 billion benchmark-sized sukuk, its largest since inception, “soon”, its president Bandar Hajjar said on Monday.

Speaking at a sukuk conference at the London Stock Exchange Hajjar said the sukuk would support spending on infrastructure, education and health.

The IDB is also planning to set up a $500 million fund to support science and technology start-ups, Hajjar added.

The Jeddah-based multilateral development bank is a regular issuer of international Islamic bonds, which it raises to fund its business activities, but also to promote the international sukuk market by building a liquid sukuk yield curve.

The non-profit group has extended $86.1 billion in financing in the last 10 years for energy, transportation, water and sanitation projects. Bangladesh, Pakistan and Egypt are among the top beneficiaries. (Reporting by Claire Milhench)

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