FAIRFIELD, Conn. (

TheStreet

) -

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

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

Bloomberg

. 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

Bloomberg

.

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

and

Goldman Sachs

(C) - Get Report

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

TheStreet.com

.

--

Written by Dan Freed in New York

.