Sukuk bonds: Will it add to the debt burden of Pakistan?

Sukuk bonds: Will it add to the debt burden of Pakistan?

ISLAMABAD (APP): Minister for Finance, Revenue, Statistics and Economic Affairs Division Ishaq Dar Thursday said issuance of Sukuk bonds will not add to debt burden rather it will enhance foreign exchange reserves and improve import bill duration.

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"These bonds will increase the foreign exchange reserves and extend import bill from five months time to six months," he said in a statement to the joint sitting of the Parliament.

The minister said despite unrest along the LoC, the response to our bonds was appreciative as we received five times over subscription than the target.

"We had envisaged US$ 500 million but initial subscription reached US$ 2.4 billion."

He said this response of the buyers manifest their confidence in Pakistan's economy that gained positively from negative to positive and from positive to stable.

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He said the bonds were issued after applying all due procedures and a five members team of 'Joint Lead Managers' (JLM) comprising reputed international financial organizations were also formed for the process.

He said, two teams headed by Governor State Bank and Secretary Finance organized roadshows in Dubai, London, Boston and New York in close coordination with the Joint Lead Managers comprising Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Noor Bank to introduce bonds.

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The minister said interest rate for bonds was fixed at 5.5 per cent that is the lowest in country's history as main aim for issuance of the bond was our presence in international bonds market and to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).