Infrastructure company issues Gulf's largest corporate sukuk this year.
VTB Capital, Russia’s international investment bank owned by VTB Group, the second largest Russian financial institution, announces the launch of its operations in the Gulf and wider MENA region with the opening of its office in Dubai.
On June 18, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) welcomed a US$750mn sukuk issued by CBB International Sukuk Company (No.2) on behalf of the government of Bahrain. This is the first sukuk to be listed in Europe this year.
In January, the Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME) arranged a £10mn (€10.7mn) shariah financing facility for Ocado, an independent online grocer in the UK.
London, amid the gloom of the global credit crunch, one topic is sure to bring a smile to the faces of the City's down-trodden bankers: Islamic finance. While the sukuk market is as quiet as other bond markets this year, City players are still positioning themselves in expectation of a prolonged boom in Sharia-compliant financial products. The Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah predicts that global sharia financial assets will grow by 20% per annum from US$900bn to US$2trn by 2010. And a lot of that business is going through London.