By Noah Rayman | Nov 8 2012Islamic Finance
The Tunisian government will issue Islamic bonds for the first time in 2013 in an effort to close its budget deficit, according to Finance Minister Slim Besbes.
Besbes told Tunisan state radio yesterday that the government will issue 1 billion dinars ($630 million) in Islamic bonds (known as Sukuk), helping reduce the deficit to 6 percent of GDP from 6.6 percent in 2012.
The budget will rise to 26.6 billion dinars in 2013, up from 25.4 billion dinars last year, and will be partially funded by 16 billion dinars in tax revenue, Besbes said.
Tunisia currently only has two Islamic banks with combined assets of 1.4 billion dinars, or 2.5 percent of the total assets of all Tunisian banks, according to Reuters.