The global market for sukuk, or Islamic bonds, continues to approach record heights with US$20 billion issued in the first half of 2010, and Southeast Asia still appears to be at its center. While Malaysia has been the driver so far with a large domestic market and two thirds of the world’s sukuk issues, other countries in the region are wondering how they might leverage their own unique attributes to get a share of the wealth.

Indonesia is an obvious growth target with corporations looking for cash inflow and a huge population seemingly open to Islamic investment alternatives. Singapore, though a relative newcomer to the scene, has a sophisticated financial sector with sound institutional infrastructure and a reputation as a place for doing deals. This has gained attention from players like Kazanah Nasional, the Malaysian government investment arm, which became the largest foreign issuer of Singapore dollar based sukuk with a S$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) offer last week.

source & full article: Channel NewsAsia