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Islamic finance

Expat employees in the UAE traditionally leave with a "golden goodbye" bonus. But this is starting to change

Expats in UAE get ready to leave ‘golden goodbye’ behind

The “golden goodbye” has long been a staple of UAE office life. Expat staff are handed a lump sum by their employer when they leave, based on a percentage of their salary and length of service.  But the practice is starting to change. More Emirati companies are looking to set up workplace pension and saving plans […]

Philippines minister of finance Benjamin Diokno

Philippines reveals plan to issue first sovereign sukuk

The Philippines government intends to issue its first sovereign sukuk before the end of the year, as it ramps up investment and trade opportunities in the Gulf. Discussions are ongoing about the sukuk’s potential structure, Rosalia de Leon, national treasurer, told reporters during the 2023 Philippine Economic Briefing in Dubai on Tuesday. She said it […]

Emirates NBD sustainable finance

Emirates NBD to expand sustainable finance offering

Dubai’s largest lender Emirates NBD plans to increase its provision of sustainable finance, including directly issuing green debt and other instruments to support social and environmental aims.  The bank previously issued ESG-linked debt instruments via its investment banking arm, EmCap (Emirates NBD Capital), in 2019 for what it claims was the region’s first corporate green […]

The World Dubai

Bahrain bank exits investment on Dubai’s The World

A Bahrain bank has sold its investment in a manmade island on The World development off the coast of Dubai. Venture Capital Bank (VCBank), an Islamic wholesale bank licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain, announced this week that it has sold a 900,000 square foot island plot on The World, which it owned along […]

Ahli United Bank is converting to Islamic finance

Islamic finance tops $3.3trn but growth challenges remain

Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest player in Islamic finance and the appetite for it in the kingdom is only growing. It has $830 billion of assets out of a global market estimated to be worth $3.3 trillion, according to Ayman al Sayari, the governor of the Saudi Central Bank. Just last week, when Saudi […]

Emirates NBD sustainable finance

Six UAE banks allocate $52bn for renewable projects

A total of AED190 billion ($51 billion) was allocated by six UAE banks for the financing of renewable energy, waste-to-energy and green technology projects in the years leading up to 2022. The banks are First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank, Mashreq and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the UAE […]

Aurum sukuk

First Group parent signs standstill deal on sukuk

Aurum, parent company of Dubai developer The First Group, has signed an interim standstill agreement with an “ad-hoc” group of creditors while discussions continue on restructuring its Islamic bonds, or sukuk, that are due to mature next year. Aurum is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). It received the approval of holders of its […]

Islamic assets in Saudi Arabia exceed $827bn says Sama

Saudi Arabia’s total Islamic assets exceed SAR3.1 trillion ($826.58 billion), said Ayman Al Sayari, governor of the Saudi Central Bank (Sama). “Saudi Arabia has a deep-rooted and historical relationship with Islamic finance. The Islamic banking sector alone accounts for 33 percent of the global Islamic bank assets,” Al Sayari said at the Islamic Financial Services […]

ESG sukuk investors are funding clean energy projects such as wind farms

Cop28 tipped to feed appetite for green sukuk

The Cop28 climate conference in the UAE is expected to boost interest in green sukuk as the market gathers momentum in the GCC, Malaysia and Turkey. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) sukuk – sharia-compliant instruments used to fund renewable energy and other green projects – are set to be a central issuance theme for the remainder […]

Saudi sukuk

Saudi Arabia issues $9.6bn sukuk

Saudi Arabia has issued new local currency sukuk worth SAR35.9 billion ($9.57 billion) after completing the early purchase of some of its SAR35.7 billion existing sukuk, the National Debt Management Center (NDMC) said. The sukuk redeemed early were set to mature in 2024, 2025 and 2026, state-run SPA reported, citing NDMC.  The new issues were […]

Expo City Dubai will host Cop28. Sponsors will be able to showcase their brand and stage a corporate presence in the Cop28 UAE Green Zone

Saudi behind increase in foreign currency sukuk deals

Saudi Arabia is driving a surge in foreign currency denominated sukuk deals in the Gulf, with analysts revising up their predictions for 2023. S&P Global is forecasting total global sukuk issuances of between $160 billion and $170 billion for 2023, up from their initial estimate of $150 billion. This increase is due in large part […]

Qatar Central Bank, Doha

Qatari Islamic banks set for rebound on high demand

Islamic banking made up 25 percent of total banking sector assets in Qatar in the first quarter of 2023, slipping from 27 percent in the same period a year earlier. This makes the Gulf state the fifth-largest Islamic banking market globally, Fitch Ratings said. The ratings agency expects the market share to increase overall in […]

W Hotel Abu Dhabi Yas Island

$500m Aldar green bond ‘four times oversubscribed’

Aldar Investment Properties – a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s biggest real estate developer Aldar Properties – has launched a $500 million 10-year green debut Islamic bond, it said in a stock market filing on Thursday.  The issuance marks Aldar Properties’ first return to international capital markets since 2019, when it launched its debut 10-year sukuk, […]

Saudi’s latest sukuk issuance gets $17bn worth of orders

Saudi Arabia has launched a dollar-denominated sukuk with tenors of six and 10 years for the second time this year. The Arab world’s largest economy drew over $17 billion in demand for the issue, Reuters reported, citing a bank document. The initial guidance for the six and 10-year sukuk was at 110 basis points (bps) […]

UAE’s first dirham T-sukuk gets bids worth $2.3bn

The UAE’s first AED1.1 billion ($299.6 million) dirham-denominated Islamic treasury sukuk (T-sukuk) was oversubscribed 7.6 times, getting bids worth AED8.3 billion ($2.26 billion). The strong demand was witnessed across both tranches, with a final allocation of AED 550 million for the two-year tranche, and AED 550 million for the three-year tranche, the ministry of finance […]

UAE to sell first dirham T-sukuk worth nearly $300m

The UAE will sell AED1.1 billion ($299.6 million) of Islamic treasury sukuk (T-sukuk) for the first time in the local currency, state-run WAM news agency reported. The T-sukuk will be issued with tranches maturing in two, three and five years, followed by a 10-year bond at a later date. Mohamed bin Hadi Al Hussaini, minister […]

Ahli United Bank Manama

Mergers push Islamic banking forwards in Bahrain

Hundreds of Islamic banking executives are descending on Bahrain next month for the Islamic Finance Innovation Day on May 30. Under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain, it will focus on embedding environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing into Islamic finance. The event comes as analysts predict that Islamic banking’s market share will […]

City, Cityscape, Urban

Dubai’s Damac mandates banks for $500m sukuk issue

Dubai-based Damac Real Estate Limited (Damac) has mandated banks to arrange investor meetings before a potential three-year benchmark US dollar-denominated sukuk worth at least $500 million. Investor calls and meetings were set to begin on Thursday and run to April 17, Reuters reported, citing a document from one of the mandated banks. Deutsche Bank, Emirates […]


No comment from Emirates NBD on bid for Indian bank

Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank, declined to comment to AGBI on Thursday following reports that it is one of at least five potential bidders for a majority stake in India’s state-owned IDBI Bank.  Emirates NBD and its rival First Abu Dhabi are on the lookout for foreign acquisitions as the Gulf state’s domestic banking sector […]