May 10, 2017 / 5:56 AM / 5 months ago

Tunisia starts preparatory work for debut sukuk issuance

DUBAI, May 10 (Reuters) - The government of Tunisia is preparing its first ever issuance of a sukuk with the Tunisian stock exchange, Bourse de Tunis, and Nasdaq Dubai, according to a statement issued by Nasdaq Dubai on Wednesday.

Preparation work will consider commercial, legal and regulatory issues, including sharia-compliance aspects, ahead of potential sukuk issues aimed at both domestic and international investors.

Tunisia needs about $2.85 billion in external funding in 2017 and plans to issue a sukuk, or Islamic bond, of $500 million to cover its budget deficit, the then finance minister Lamia Zribi told Reuters in January.

It issued a €850 million bond with a seven-year maturity in February.

Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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