PETALING JAYA: Malaysia retained its leading position as a sukuk hub in 2015, accounting for 53% of global issuance at the end of the year. "This is a strong finish for Malaysia, which has had to contend with the devaluation of the ringgit, slower sukuk issuance and new issuers from other countries," RAM Ratings head of Islamic finance Ruslena Ramli said in a note yesterday. Although the performance pales in comparison to the country's 69% of share of global sukuk as at end-2014, the ringgit remained the currency of choice accounting for 39% of sukuk issuance followed by the US dollar (32%) and the Indonesian rupiah (9%). Domestically, the rating agency said the value of outstanding sukuk rose to RM608.5 billion as at end-December, from RM595.3 billion as at end-November. The total outstanding sukuk as at end-2015 accounted for 54% of the market's outstanding debt securities. Out of the total of RM254.2 billion domestically issued debt securities in 2015, RAM Ratings said sukuk constituted 45% at RM114.7 billion. It noted the largest issuance in 2015 was by Jimah East Power Sdn Bhd, with a RM8.98 billion sukuk murabahah. However, it noted that Malaysia's share of outstanding global sukuk had declined to 52% in 2015 from 55% in 2014 due to the weaker ringgit. In 2015, the outstanding global sukuk stood at US$280.9 billion, while Malaysia's share stood at US$150.9 billion. On the overall global sukuk market, RAM Ratings noticed an increase in sukuk issuance from new markets, as Oman and the Ivory Coast have joined the growing list of sovereign sukuk issuers.