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After Western sukuk debuts, Islamic finance looks to emerging sovereigns
by Karin Strohecker
This year's rush by top-rated non-Muslim countries to tap the burgeoning Islamic finance market may not be repeated next year but a new crop of sovereign entrants, mostly from emerging markets, is waiting around the corner.
The United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Luxembourg - all ranked at least AA by rating agencies - issued sharia-compliant financial instruments, or sukuk, for the first time in 2014. They gave a huge boost to a market which was once just seen as a funding tool for borrowers from the Gulf and Muslim countries in southeast Asia.
Senegal and South Africa also debuted on sukuk markets, lifting the total number of sovereign issuers to 19 so far, compared to 16 in 2013, according to Thomson Reuters data.
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