Washington, D.C., April 23, 2010—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today announced it received the EMEA
Finance Most Innovative Islamic Bond Deal award for its groundbreaking
$100 million Hilal Sukuk (Islamic investment certificates). On October
21, 2009, IFC became the first non-Islamic financial institution to issue
a Sukuk for term funding in the Middle East.
“IFC is very proud to receive this award. It is a recognition of our efforts
to strengthen the region’s nascent Sukuk market, integrate regional markets
into the global economy, and support Islamic investors who want to have
a positive social impact,” said Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President
The EMEA Finance magazine is the only journal focusing on corporate finance
news in emerging markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. EMEA
Finance Achievement Awards recognize the best corporate transactions in
these markets each year.
Nina Shapiro, IFC Vice President for Finance and Treasurer, who will accept
the award at the EMEA Finance Annual Awards Charity Dinner on June 9, said,
“We are delighted by this award, and we appreciate the collaboration with
the Shariah scholars, our partners at the Dubai and Bahrain exchanges,
and the banks that worked with us on this complex process.”
Islamic finance adheres to Islamic law, known as Shariah. Its most basic
features include a requirement that investor and borrower share in the
risk of a venture, and a prohibition on charging interest. Shariah also
prohibits investment in activities such as gambling or selling alcohol.
Sukuks are investment certificates with undivided ownership share in underlying
Shariah-compliant assets. The IFC Sukuk supports a pipeline of IFC Islamic
finance projects in key sectors such as health, education, and infrastructure.
A separate special purpose vehicle issued the IFC Sukuk and warehouses
the underlying assets. HSBC Amanah, Dubai Islamic Bank, Kuwait Finance
House Bahrain, and Liquidity Management House were the lead arrangers.
The Aaa-rated IFC Sukuk is a dollar-denominated $100 million non-amortizing
issue with a five-year maturity. It follows the most common structure for
Sukuks so that it can set a precedent for similar investments.
In early 2008, IFC formed an Islamic Finance Working Group that aims to
develop a more strategic approach to Islamic finance activities. The efforts
of the working group and the expansion of IFC’s field offices in the Middle
East and North Africa region have contributed to a committed portfolio
of over $190 million in loans and equity in the region. IFC now has the
capacity to support an ongoing program of Islamic finance projects, which
will underpin Sukuks every one to two years.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk
mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
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