This publication is part of the journal ISRA International Journal of Islamic Finance (English Journal) (2015-2)
Asset ownership is an important aspect of sukuk structuring and issuance. However, a recurring and contentious issue regarding the underlying sukuk asset is the actual nature of its ownership and the corresponding legal implications for sukuk holders and other parties in the sukuk transaction. Many sukuk are based solely on beneficial ownership of the assets whilst legal title is retained by the originator or trustee. This paper attempts to ascertain the status of beneficial ownership vis-a-vis registered legal title from the Islamic legal perspective. The paper begins with an examination of the meaning, origin and status of beneficial ownership under English law. This is followed by a brief discussion on ownership (milkiyyah) from the Shari'ah (Islamic law) perspective and a deliberation on the status of beneficial ownership under the Shari'ah. Finally, the paper analyses the use of beneficial ownership in sukuk structures and its implication on sukuk holders and other parties in the sukuk transaction.
Keywords: Beneficial Ownership, Legal Title, sukuk, Islamic Legal Analysis.
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