Oasis Crescent (UK), a South African Islamic finance company in the UK, is, reportedly, planning to buy up to 10% of the UK government’s inaugural sovereign Islamic bond issue, sukuk.

Sukuk are investment certificates that follow Islamic religious principles such as a ban on interest and gambling, and put conventional interest bearing bonds off limits to many Muslim investors.

The sukuk, which is expected to be rolled out in 2014, will be the first by a Western government, claims the company.

Oasis Crescent CEO and founder Adam Ebrahim was quoted by Reuters as saying that the firm hopes to invest GBP10 million to GBP20 million in the GBP200 million (US$322.95 million) issue.

The issue is expected to boost London’s status as a hub for Islamic finance.

Ebrahim said the sovereign issues of these certificates are concentrated in the Middle East and some other countries in Asia.