Export Credit guarantees look to widen Islamic finance landscape

(Reuters, London 4 February 2015) n">Credit guarantees are gaining traction in Islamic finance, helping a wider range of firms to tap the market for sharia-compliant debt, which remains stubbornly reliant on sovereign and quasi-sovereign issuers. A growing number of guarantors are developing expertise in this area, aiming to facilitate Islamic transactions both large and small. Among them is Britain's export credit agency, UK Export Finance, which plans this year to guarantee an Islamic bond (sukuk) issue for the first time under a capital market guarantee product that it launched in 2010, a UKEF spokesperson said. This would facilitate a deal for a Gulf-based customer of Airbus, whose identity has not been disclosed.