International Financial Law Review

DEAL: MENA region's first Reit #sukuk

Emirates REIT has issued the first sukuk by a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the MENA region. It's also the first REIT from the region to have a credit rating (BB+). REITs have not traditionally issued sharia-compliant bonds, and have instead preferred to tap conventional debt markets for their financing needs. The only previous issuance of this type was in Malaysia in 2014, when KLCC REIT sold $930 million of Islamic bonds. This new issuance was hosted by The Irish Stock Exchange and relied on underlying wakala and murabaha contracts. The entire timeline of the deal was less than two months. This was to ensure Emirates Reit didn’t miss the favourable issuance window. Standard Chartered Bank acted as sole global coordinator, ratings advisor and joint lead manager of the sukuk issuance.

Japan FSA consultation to boost Islamic finance

Japanese banks' Islamic finance capabilities could be boosted following a Financial Services Authority (FSA) consultation. The consultation, which runs until March 27, is expected to open the onshore sukuk market - a boost for Asia's largest domestic bond market. This proposal broadens the products that Japanese banks can offer. It will allow banks to provide Islamic finance services to their clients, so that they can lend in the forms of commodity murabahah andijarah. It also adds clarifications for banks to make certain investments in the forms of mudarabah andmusharakah as well as certain derivatives transactions.

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