Earlier today, in a special Market Opening Ceremony at the London Stock Exchange, I had the pleasure of opening trading as the UK becomes the first country outside the Islamic world to issue a sovereign Sukuk, or Islamic bond.
I was joined by Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport and Minister for Equalities, to mark the occasion. The bond has already raised £200 million on orders totalling more than £2 billion.
Today’s listing of Britain’s sovereign Sukuk is great news for the expansion of our financial services sector. The strong demand for the bond not only delivers good value for money for the taxpayer, but also cements Britain’s position as the western hub of Islamic finance and is a part of our long term economic plan to make Britain the undisputed centre of global financial services.
The UK sovereign Sukuk will have a maturity of five years and use the Al-Ijara structure, the most common structure for sovereign Sukuk. The Sukuk will be underpinned by rental income from three central government office properties, which will remain in government ownership during the lifetime of the Sukuk.