First Gulf Bank FGB, the leading financial partner of choice in the UAE, was awarded the 2012 Best Islamic Deal in the United Arab Emirates award for its USD 650 million Sukuk (Islamic bonds) issuance in August 2011, which was six times oversubscribed. The award, which was presented during the Asset Triple A Islamic Finance awards at the Shangri-La hotel in Kuala Lumpur, marks yet another successful milestone in FGB’s journey.
The FGB 5-yr Sukuk was subscribed by more than 200 different investors worldwide. Of these investors, 46% were Middle East based, 24% were from Europe, 24% from Asia and 6% from the US and other markets. The transaction was divided between 49%, Banks, as well as 39% Funds 6% Retail and 6% Insurance and Pensions. The proceeds were used for Islamic general corporate purposes and to fund the growth of the FGB’s Islamic loan book.
Commenting on the award, Mustaza Bin Kassim, Head-Asia Pacific and CEO of FGB of Singapore Branch, said: “This award not only confirms the success of FGB’s Sukuk issuances, but also reflects our efforts of creating products that match the principles and beliefs of our clientele. FGB’s leading position in the banking industry and its consistently strong performance has led to a high level of trust in the market.”
“Widespread interest of our Sukuk was received once we issued it, and that was on the back of yet another USD 500 million Sukuk earlier in 2012, which was 2.8 times oversubscribed as well,” he added.
Commenting on FGB’s title, Chito Santiago, Managing Editor at Asset Publishing and Research Limited, said: “The board of editors at The Asset magazine notes that the US$650 million Sukuk issue of First Gulf Bank marked the first sukuk issuance by a conventional GCC-incorporated bank, enabling First Gulf Bank to effectively capitalize on the supply and demand dynamics prevailing in the Islamic capital markets. Based on a highly innovative dual wakala and mudaraba structure, the deal garnered strong investor demand amid challenging market conditions with an order book of US$3.8 billion from high quality international investors distributed across the Middle East, Asia and Europe.”
The Triple A Islamic Finance Awards are organised by the Asset magazine, a monthly publication that covers main market highlights and achievements in Asia. The awards aim to recognise leading banks for achieving excellence and for providing what best serves the region.