Luxembourg guns for LSE’s sukuk prestige

The LuxembOurg Stock Exchange is gearing up to take on London as the Western capital of Islamic finance with relaxed documentation rules for sukuk bonds.

The exchange will now only require summaries of the transaction documents rather than being provided with full details of the underlying assets.

Allen & Overy (A&O) senior associate Anzal Mohammed said: “They’ve agreed to look at sukuks in a similar way to London.

“It’s not exactly the same and it’s still considered best to be asset-backed, but they will not apply the same disclosure rules to securities, so you won’t have to provide the same detail on the underlying assets.”

The Prospectus Directive, which was implemented in Luxembourg in July 2005, made it more difficult to list sukuks in the jurisdiction.

The EU directive sets out disclosure obligations for issuers.

Mohammed said: “There hasn’t been any sukuk listed on the regulated market of Luxembourg Stock Exchange since July 2005, when the Prospectus Directive was implemented.

“They have taken the view that this is a product they are keen to progress with and want to push it forward.”

A&O advised on Dubai Islamic Bank’s $750m (£382m) sukuk, the first sukuk to be dual-listed in London and Dubai. It was the forth sharia-compliant bond to be issued on the London Stock Exchange, which puts it in pole position in the European market.

Mohammed said: “London has the prestige that will attract some issuers. Luxembourg clearly wants to be a part of this competition.”