The UAE has been pushing the case for more 'green' tinged securities to come out of the pipeline. DFSA by waiving regulator fees for such listings during 2024 makes an emphatic statement. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Companies wanting to list sustainability-linked debt issues on DIFC will have all their regulatory fees waived. This applies all such listings falling under this mandate during 2024. The fee waiver starts with immediate effect.

The decision by DFSA, Dubai Financial Services Authority and regulator of DIFC, coincides with COP28, and is in line with the entity’s push to speed up growth in sustainable capital market development. The first set of guidelines on best practices for green bonds was issued in 2018.

“We are confident that, alongside our streamlined regulatory process, the fee waiver will catalyse the acceleration of sustainable debt issuances from the DIFC,” said Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of DFSA.

Nasdaq Dubai, the DIFC’s exchange, has emerged as the world’s largest ESG-related sukuk market, with more than 60 per cent of US-denominated ESG sukuk and close to 50 per cent of all-currencies ESG sukuk.

Who gets the fee waiver?

It would apply to all ESG-related bonds and sukuks labelled as green, social, sustainable, sustainability-linked, climate, climate adaptation, climate transition, or answering to a similar description.

The waiver applies to 'all new and repeat issuers' who make a relevant application to the DFSA. It is effective immediately, covering applications received until December 31, 2024.

"The DFSA reaffirms its continued commitment to encouraging companies to transition towards issuing green and sustainability bonds and sukuk for financing environmentally and climatically sustainable projects," said Johnston.​​​​​​