His Excellency Mohamed Bin Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, rang the market-opening bell to celebrate and mark listing the domestic Dirhams Islamic Treasury Sukuk (T-Sukuk) on Nasdaq Dubai. The United Arab Emirates, represented by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) as the issuer and in collaboration with the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) as the issuing and paying agent, has announced launching dirham-denominated Islamic Treasury Sukuk (T-Sukuk), with a benchmark auction size of AED 1.1 billion.

The launching of Dirham-denominated Islamic Treasury Sukuk (T-Sukuk) includes a series of issuances, in order to attract a new category of investors and support the sustainability of economic growth. The issuance of T-Sukuk is aimed at enhancing the UAE’s economic competitiveness by providing high-quality Islamic assets at competitive prices. This will support the Central Bank of the UAE in managing liquidity within the banking sector and boosts the size of financial investments, which will reflect positively on the country’s economy, investment environment, per capita income and gross national income.

The bell ringing ceremony was attended by a number of senior officials from the Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of the UAE, Nasdaq Dubai, and the CEOs of the eight banks that were onboarded as primary dealers, in addition to other senior officials from various relevant authorities.

The inaugural issuance of the Dirham-denominated Islamic Treasury Sukuk programme witnessed a strong demand through the eight primary bank dealers, with bids received worth AED 8.3 billion, and an oversubscription by 7.6 times. The strong demand was 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, with a total issuance of AED 1.1 billion. Other tranches of Islamic Treasury Sukuk will be issued with various tenures up to five years initially, followed by a 10-year sukuk at a later date.

His Excellency Mohamed Bin Hadi Al Hussaini noted that issuing the T-Sukuk contributes to expanding the scope of Islamic banking and is one of the most important tools for managing monetary policy and liquidity to finance development programmes and projects. The T-Sukuks are Sharia-compliant financial certificates for trading in the secondary market along with the main distributors, reflecting the current return on investment. These sukuk will also contribute to stimulating the securities market and strengthening the base of Islamic securities, providing safe and rewarding investment alternatives, and attracting new segments of local and international investors.

His Excellency emphasised that the success of the first auction is another testament to the UAE’s creditworthiness as one of the most advanced and competitive economies in the world, reaffirming its position as a leading investment hub in the field of Islamic economy. His Excellency said: “The issuance of Islamic Treasury Sukuk is a new step towards achieving the comprehensive and sustainable economic and social development objectives of the UAE. It contributes to the development of the financial market and the investment environment in the country by attracting financial investments and rejuvenating the local financial and banking sector to diversify funding sources, which cements the UAE’s position as a global hub for Islamic economy.”

His Excellency Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, said: “The T-Sukuk programme’s first issuance, denominated in UAE Dirhams, reinforces the UAE’s competitive position as a developed global financial centre. The programme has succeeded in diversifying financial markets activities, enhancing infrastructure to support Sharia-compliant investment options and alternatives, and strengthening the resilience and stability of the financial system. This milestone will also support in bolstering financial investments and promoting greater confidence among local and international investors in the UAE’s financial system, leading to further strategic growth across the sector and fortifying the UAE’s role in the global Islamic economy.”

H.E. added: “The remarkable success of the first auction for the issuance of T-Sukuk denominated in UAE Dirhams is a testament to the soundness of the financial and economic policies, the robust creditworthiness and the efficiency of the UAE’s financial sector. It also supports the UAE’s stimulating investment environment globally to diversify investment and financial alternatives, and continue sustainable growth underpinned by future visions and plans. We are pleased to have partnered with the Ministry of Finance in enhancing the UAE’s financial markets and improving the investment environment in the country.”

Hamed Ali, CEO of Dubai Financial Market and Nasdaq Dubai, said: “The issuance of the T-Sukuk is an important development for the UAE capital markets attracting diversified investment categories to the country and providing an important investment tool for Islamic banking. The listing today further strengthens Dubai’s position as one of the largest centers for Sukuk listings globally with USD 77.67 billion total value of Sukuk listed in Dubai. This opens the path for regional and international investors to strengthen their links with the UAE government as well as to expand their investment options in the UAE. At Nasdaq Dubai, our mission supports the UAE Central Bank’s ambitious strategy to develop a strong fixed-income market in the UAE by providing investors with investment opportunities in sovereign issuances and a more effective yield curve gauge in debt instruments.”

The Ministry of Finance onboarded eight banks, namely Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC (ADCB), Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), HSBC, Mashreq and Standard Chartered as Primary Dealers to participate in the T-Sukuk primary market auction and to actively develop the secondary market. 

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