South Africa is expected to launch its debut Islamic bond issue during the first quarter of 2014 as it seeks to diversify its financing sources, the chief executive of Al Baraka Banking Group told Reuters on Monday.
"There is no mandate yet but we're been advising the government. We expect the sukuk to be launched during the first three months next year," Adnan Ahmed Yousif said on the sidelines of the Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai.
Bahrain-based Al Baraka has been present in South Africa since 1989 and operates a network of seven branches there.
South African government officials told Reuters in July that the country was leaning towards a dollar-denominated, five-year sukuk, using an ijara structure.
Yousif said the South African government hadn't yet decided on the size of the bond, which could be the first sukuk issued by a central government in a major sub-Saharan African economy.
Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania have also been planning sukuk issues, and a successful sale by South Africa could encourage them to put those plans into operation.