Pakistan to issue 'Ijara Sukuk' in domestic capital market

Pakistan’s ministry of finance is all set to issue Ijara Sukuk in the domestic capital market in January 2020. (AP/ File Photo)
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Updated 10 December 2019

Pakistan to issue 'Ijara Sukuk' in domestic capital market

  • The move will raise funds for government's budgetary support 
  • Also provide investment avenues for Islamic banking industry to utilize its surplus liquidity

KARACHI: Pakistan’s ministry of finance is all set to issue Ijara Sukuk in the domestic capital market in January 2020 to support the government's budgetary position, the ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

“The size (of Ijara Sukuk) is undetermined. It will be approved soon after some clarifications,” Omar Hamid Khan, spokesperson of the ministry of finance, told Arab News.

The federal cabinet on Tuesday, chaired by Prime minister Imran Khan, was expected to approve the issuance of Ijara Sukuk but delayed the decision over certain reservations, Firdous Ashiq Awan, the de facto information minister of Pakistan, told media after the cabinet meeting. 

The Sukuk would also provide investment avenues to the Islamic banking industry to utilize its surplus liquidity.

“Islamic banks have surplus liquidity of around Rs 500 billion (well over the determined size of Ijara Sukuk),” Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, Deputy convenor of Standing Committee of Federation of Pakistan and Chambers of Commerce on Islamic Banking told Arab News.

“Islamic banks’ deposits have grown to Rs 2.5 trillion”, Siddiqui, who is also the Director of Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance (CEIF) at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), said.

As the finance ministry is open to increase the size of the bond issue in response to market reaction, the Islamic finance experts are confident that the issue would be oversubscribed in the current situation where only one Sukuk is going to be mature in March 2020.

The Ijara Sukuk, which is backed by real assets, will be issued against the unencumbered land of Jinnah International Airport (JIA) Karachi.

Though the evaluation process of JIA Karachi’s assets continues, the expert awaiting final evaluation report says that it could be around Rs 500-600 billion, which means the Ijara Sukuk could not be issued more than the asset value.


Pakistan sends medicines, food items to Lebanon after deadly explosions

Updated 07 August 2020

Pakistan sends medicines, food items to Lebanon after deadly explosions

  • More than 150 people were killed and over 5,000 others were injured when a string of blasts rocked Beirut on August 4
  • FM Qureshi assured his Lebanese counterpart that the government and people of Pakistan stood in strong solidarity with the people of Lebanon

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday sent medicines and food items to Lebanon after a string of deadly explosions ripped through Beirut earlier this week, killing more than 150 people and injuring over 5,000 others.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Lebanon Najeeb Durrani is handing over eight tons of relief items for the victims of Beirut explosions to senior Lebanese officials at the Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut on Aug. 7, 2020. (Photo courtesy Pakistan Embassy in Beirut)

According to an official statement released in Islamabad, the country’s foreign minister called his Lebanese counterpart and informed him about the relief assistance over the phone.
“Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a telephonic conversation, informed his Lebanese counterpart, Charbel Wehbe, that 8 tons of relief assistance consisting of medicines and food supplies sent by the Government of Pakistan as a token of solidarity would be delivered in Beirut today,” said the official statement.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Lebanon Najeeb Durrani is handing over eight tons of relief items for the victims of Beirut explosions to senior Lebanese officials at the Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut on Aug. 7, 2020. (Photo courtesy Pakistan Embassy in Beirut)

It added that Qureshi also expressed deep sorrow and grief over the loss of precious lives, injuries to people, and extensive material damage caused by the explosions.
“The Foreign Minister underscored that, at this difficult time, Pakistan stood in strong support and solidarity with the brotherly Lebanese people,” the statement said.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Lebanon Najeeb Durrani is handing over eight tons of relief items for the victims of Beirut explosions to senior Lebanese officials at the Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut on Aug. 7, 2020. (Photo courtesy Pakistan Embassy in Beirut)

Meanwhile, authorities in Lebanon received the relief package on Friday afternoon.
“The relief goods were handed over to Deputy Chief of Protocol Mr. Salem Al Achkar from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants and General Elias Abi Karam, Commander of Lebanon’s Air Force by Najeeb Durrani, Ambassador of Pakistan, today at 1530 at Rafic Hariri International Airport,” Pakistan’s embassy in Beirut confirmed in a statement.