Saudi finance ministry says 13 banks qualify for domestic sukuk program

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Saudi Arabia’s finance ministry said on Tuesday that 13 domestic banks had qualified to participate in the government’s planned issuance program for local currency Islamic bonds.

Alinma Bank assisted with structuring the sukuk, the ministry said in a brief statement which did not give further details or specify when issuance would start. It said any issues would be at the ministry’s discretion.

Finance minister Mohammed al-Jadaan told Al Arabiya television last week that local currency sukuk issues, designed to help Riyadh cover a large budget deficit caused by low oil prices, would begin this month.

Besides Alinma, the other qualified banks are Alawwal Bank, Al Rajhi Bank, Arab National Bank, Bank AlBilad, Bank AlJazira, Banque Saudi Fransi, Gulf International Bank, Riyad Bank, Samba Financial Group, Saudi Investment Bank, National Commercial Bank and Saudi British Bank.

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