) -

General Electric

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has sold $500 million worth of five-year Islamic bonds, making it the first major U.S. corporate issuer of what is known as "sukuk," according to

The Wall Street Journal


Islamic bonds make "profit distributions," to investors, as interest payments are not allowed under shariah law, according to


. The market for these bonds has struggled due to the financial crisis,

The Journal

reports, although, it is seen as having great promise.

The Economist

noted a year ago that Muslims account for 20% of the world's population but Islamic financial instruments represent less than 1% of the total.

GE's Islamic-compliant bonds yield 1.75% over Treasuries, compared to 1.55% on a $1.5 billion issue by GE Capital on Nov. 10, according to




(C) - Get Report


Goldman Sachs

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were among the underwriters of the deal, along with

Liquidity Management House for Investment Co.

and the

National Bank of Abu Dhabi

, a GE spokeswoman told




Written by Dan Freed in New York