The Government of Sharjah was honoured at the 2015 London Sukuk Summit earlier this month where it was awarded the ‘Award of Excellence for Most Innovative Sukuk Issuance by a Sovereign Debt Issuer’. The award was given in recognition of Sharjah’s debut 10-year US dollar sukuk, which was issued at a size of US$750 million (AED 275b) in September 2014.
Sharjah’s aggressive economic development policy and consistent fiscal management underpinned the successful launch of last year’s sovereign sukuk. According to lead arrangers at the time, the sovereign Islamic bond issue was met by massive demand from investors securing orders worth about US$7.85 billion (AED 29b). Moody’s assigned a provisional rating of A3 to the sukuk, consistent with the Emirate’s long-term rating of A3 with a stable outlook. In issuing the sukuk, Sharjah became the fourth member of the UAE to use Islamic bonds.
The Government of Sharjah has spent the past five years developing new economic development programmes and incentivising inward investment. Some 45 percent of the Emirate’s record 2015 budget is earmarked for economic development, increasing its spend in that area by 22 percent. Sharjah achieved 8.5 percent growth in it’s GDP (gross domestic product) during 2014 and ratings agencies Moody’s and S&P have both noted that they expect to see continued economic growth.
The 9th London Sukuk Summit took place from 3 – 4 June 2015 under the theme ‘Globalising Sukuk Beyond Traditional Markets, Structures and Asset Pools’ and was attended by financial organisations from all over the world. The 2015 London Sukuk Summit Awards recognise the outstanding contribution and achievements of individuals, institutions, supranationals and financial centres serving the global Islamic financial services industry.
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) picked up an award for ‘Excellence for Best Lead Arranger of Sukuk’, in recognition of the bank’s leading role in structuring and arranging transactions and trading in sukuk. NBAD was also one of the banks that acted as Joint Lead Manager for Sharjah’s sovereign sukuk.
Source: London Sukuk Summit