The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (“NBAD”) was ranked by Bloomberg and Dealogic as the world’s number one bank for managing issuance of international Sukuk in the first quarter of 2015. During the period, NBAD managed around US $3.9 billion of international Sukuk issuance, which represented approximately 69% of the market by value.
In the first three months of 2015, NBAD worked on four major deals. In addition to acting as Joint Structuring Agent and Joint Bookrunner on the UKEF-backed Sukuk closed by Emirates Airlines, the Bank also acted as Joint Bookrunner on International Sukuk issuances by Dubai Islamic Bank, Islamic Development Bank and the Government of Ras Al Khaimah.
Alex Thursby, NBAD’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are extremely pleased with our number one ranking amongst all global banks in international Sukuk issuance. At the same time, we are continuing to improve in the league tables for overall debt underwriting. These achievements are evidence of NBAD’s commitment to debt capital markets - both regionally and globally - and they serve as evidence of the increasing strength and maturity of the UAE Banking industry. We look forward to continuing to build momentum in debt capital markets as we focus on helping clients around the world to raise capital in all forms. The international Sukuk market in particular is becoming an increasingly mainstream source of funding for issuers from Islamic and non-Islamic economies. The Islamic finance industry is booming and is expected to double over the next five years internationally to over $3.4 trillion, and we are committed to continuing leadership in this space.”
Andy Cairns, Managing Director and Global Head of Debt Origination & Distribution at NBAD, said: "Innovation in Sukuk is at the centre of NBAD's debt financing proposition, and I am pleased that more issuers are recognising the many advantages of accessing this pool of Islamic and regional liquidity in partnership with NBAD. Last week's Emirates Airlines Sukuk was a landmark transaction as the first-ever ECA-guaranteed Sukuk and a continuation of the many notable Sukuk firsts NBAD has bookrun over recent months. Middle Eastern investors are increasingly relevant to international and regional borrowers - across Sukuk, bonds and loans - and it is our goal at NBAD to champion this."
NBAD has taken a leading role in the development of Sukuk as an asset class. In 1Q 2015, the Bank achieved the following:
Emirates Airlines’ US $913 million UKEF-backed Sukuk, which was co-structured by NBAD, marked the world’s first Sukuk financing supported by UK Export Finance and the largest ever capital markets offering in the aviation space with an Export Credit Agency guarantee. The transaction also represented the first time that a Sukuk has been used to pre-fund the acquisition of aircraft and the first ever Sukuk financing for A380 aircraft.
- Assisted the Government of Ras Al Khaimah in raising US $1 billion via its first-ever 10-year Sukuk, the largest ever public issuance by Ras Al Khaimah and the lowest ever profit rate for an international public 10-year US$ Sukuk.
- Acted as Joint Bookrunner for the US $1 billion five-year Sukuk issuance by the Islamic Development Bank, which achieved the lowest ever spread for a US$ Sukuk issuer.
- In January 2015, NBAD managed the US $1 billion perpetual Sukuk issuance for Dubai Islamic Bank, the first public regulatory capital issuance with Basel-III compliant mechanics from Dubai.
- In the conventional market, NBAD acted as Bookrunner on bond issuances for Rakbank and BBK, as well as for NBAD itself.
These deals follow a number of firsts for Sukuk led by NBAD in 2014, including:
- Debut issuances by non-Islamic sovereign states – the United Kingdom and Hong Kong;
- 1st Western financial institution Sukuk – Goldman Sachs;
- 1st socially responsible Sukuk – International Finance Facility for Immunisation;
- 1st Sukuk with Basel III mechanics – Al Hilal Bank.
Conventional bond issuance is another area in which NBAD is leading the way for regional banks. In 1Q 2015, the Bank ranked 2nd in the GCC region DCM league table, which includes both conventional bond and Sukuk issuance, and 3rd for the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”). By value, NBAD managed around 65% of DCM issuance out of the GCC and around 47% out of MENA, significantly more than any other Middle East-headquartered bank.