Islamic Development Bank (IDB) said it planned a $500 million Islamic bonds, or sukuk, issue to finance its 2009 financing program, the first sukuk issue this year in a tightening industry. "We are planning to go ahead with the issue in the next few months," the bank's Chairman Ahmed Mohammed Ali told media after inaugurating a business center. Ali said the new sukuk would help finance a 15 percent increase in the IDB's financing program for 2009. Globally, the value of sukuk issued in 2008 fell more than 56 percent to $14.9 billion from 2007. Most industry experts have held out little hope for a recovery in the sukuk market this year, as the global economy struggles to avoid a prolonged recession.