Thursday, Managing Director of Monetary Authority of Singapore, Heng Swee Keat in his welcome speech at the 6th Islamic Financial Services said the global sukuk market remains a relatively new asset class with much room to grow out.

Sukuk is an Islamic financial certificate, similar to a bond in Western finance, which complies with Sharia, Islamic religious law.

In the first half of 2009, about US$1.3 billion in sovereign sukuk issuance will come from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, Heng said. More private sector issuers are expected to tap the sukuk market and to attract new investors and clients, he added.

With a focus on deepening the symbiotic relationship between financial services and economic growth, nature of financial services will change in the years ahead. Heng said this would be favorable for various segments of Islamic finance.

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