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Emirates airlines lists sukuk worth $1b

Sukuk issued to finance the upcoming aircraft deals

Gulf News

Dubai: Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, rang the bell for listing Emirates airlines sukuk worth $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) on NASDAQ Dubai on Wednesday morning.

Shaikh Ahmad told media: “Utilising the Islamic financing, sukuk, is to encourage Islamic economy and confirm our support to the initiative of Dubai becoming the world capital of Islamic economy.”

“The sukuk issued for multi-purposes, one of these is to finance the upcoming aircraft purchasing deals,” he added.

The sukuk issued by Emirates, one of the fastest growing global airlines, was sold successfully to investors in MENA, Europe, Asia, and some offshore US accounts.

Currently the nominal value of sukuk listed on Dubai exchanges is estimated to be $10.625 billion, the third largest total in the world.

“As an international exchange, NASDAQ Dubai gives our listing global visibility whilst at the same time providing us with a listing in the city where we are based. The exchange’s high regulatory standards and streamlined listing procedures make it an ideal venue for listing capital-raising securities.” Shaikh Ahmad added in a statement issued by Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

Emirates airline has aircraft purchase agreement worth $5 billion for the current fiscal year where 25 aircraft will be delivered, one every five weeks, Brian Jeffery, Senior Vice-President for corporate treasury at Emirates airlines told Gulf News.

“Emirates issued sukuk to back up the finance of aircraft delivery deals which reached $5 billion this fiscal year,” he added.

On the other side, Mohammad Al Gergawi, Chairman of The Executive Office and Chairman of the Islamic Economy Higher Committee, said following the Dewa’s sukuk listing last week, the Emirates sukuk provides further evidence of Dubai’s excellence as a centre for issuing, listing and trading of Islamic capital-raising securities.

“We will continue to strengthen the leading position of the UAE in this sector through various efforts and the creation of a range of world-class Islamic financial products, for both institutions and individuals,” he added.

Moreover, Essa Kazim, Managing Director and Chief Executive of Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Secretary General of the committee, highlighted the rapid growth of Dubai’s capital markets with Islamic finance playing a leading role.

Global sukuk issuance reached $140 billion in 2012, up 64 per cent from $85 billion in 2011, according to Zawya. Issuers in the United Arab Emirates issued more than $6 billion worth of sukuk in 2012.