UPDATE 1-Senegal sells half of subscriptions to sukuk on launch day
DAKAR, June 25 (Reuters) - Senegal sold half of the subscriptions to its 100 billion-CFA franc ($207.84 million) sukuk programme on Wednesday, the launch day of the first major Islamic bond issued by a West African nation, the junior minister in charge of the budget said.
"We are happy to be able to say that this operation has been launched with 50 percent of firm subscriptions," Mouhamadou Makhtar Cisse said.
Senegal's sukuk is seen as an important step in developing Islamic finance in sub-Saharan Africa, which so far has seen mainly small issuances.
Gambia has been selling small amounts of Islamic debt for years and Nigeria's Osun State last year sold a local currency sukuk worth $62 million.
The Senegalese bond will be sold at a unit price of 10,000 CFA francs and an annual profit margin of 6.25 percent. Subscriptions will be open to July 18, 2014 and unitholders resident in Senegal will be exempted from taxes. ($1 = 481.1360 CFA Francs) (Reporting by Diadie Ba; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Andrew Roche)