JAKARTA, March 19 (Reuters) - The Indonesian government on Monday sold 8.44 trillion rupiah ($613.19 million) of Islamic bonds to local retail investors to help finance its budget, the Finance Ministry’s financing and risk management office said.
The sales were slightly higher than the initially-allotted 8.11 trillion rupiah, it said in a statement. It was, however, lower than the 14.04 trillion rupiah raised in retail sukuk sales in March last year.
The tradeable sukuk carry a fixed annual rate of 5.9 percent, similar to the average rate offered by Islamic banks for 12-month and longer time deposits.
In comparison, conventional banks offered an average of 6.73 percent for 12-month and longer time deposits, according to the financial regulator’s data for December.
The sukuk was sold to a total of 17,922 Indonesians this year, the statement said.
Since the retail sukuk was first launched in 2009, the government has sold a total of 144.78 trillion rupiah of the debt to nearly 250,000 people. ($1 = 13,764 rupiah) (Reporting by Maikel Jefriando; Additional reporting and writing by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Sunil Nair)