In a fierce competition between five exceptional Islamic finance deals for the IFN Overall Deal of the Year 2019, Dubai retail magnate Majid Al Futtaim emerged triumphant with its US$600 million Sukuk distinguished by its environmental, social and governance (ESG) characteristics, leading by example how property management can be executed in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The announcement of the IFN Overall Deal of the Year 2019 was originally scheduled for the 8th March 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Majid Al Futtaim transaction, which was the world’s first benchmark corporate green dollar Sukuk facility, was selected after rigorous screening and consideration by an independent board of industry experts. From the numerous nominations submitted from around the world, five were shortlisted.
IFN OVERALL DEAL OF THE YEAR 2019: Shortlist
• Arabian Centres’s US$500 million Sukuk
• Majid Al Futtaim’s US$600 million Sukuk
• NASDA Green Energy’s US$25 million and PKR4.7 billion (US$28.54 million) cross-border deal
• Oman’s OMR300 million (US$776.96 million) sovereign Sukuk
• Urusharta Jamaah’s RM27.56 billion (US$6.47 billion) restructuring deal
Each was outstanding in its own right but Majid Al Futtaim stood out as it addressed an urgent real estate concern — sustainability — even before the pandemic hit the shores of the GCC.
“In arid hot countries like the UAE and Egypt, two of Majid Al Futtaim’s markets, few developers have taken an interest in sustainability issues like water management and green energy,” noted the awards board.
The Sukuk deal was launched under the company’s 2019 Green Finance Policy. Independently audited by Sustainalytics, the transaction also secured the coveted Green Star rating from Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmarks. This focus on sustainability permeates throughout Majid Al Futtaim’s real estate portfolio which has been shaped by the firm’s sustainability policy first introduced in 2011.
“Majid Al Futtaim’s sustainability is visible across its greening portfolio. A MENA leader, one hopes that the company will inspire other regional notables including MH Alshaya and Arabian Centres as well as the many Saudi and UAE REITs to follow the same path,” shared the awards board.
Established in 2006, the IFN Deals of the Year acknowledge the industry’s most groundbreaking Islamic financial transactions each year. The winners are selected by an independent panel of experts from non-competing organizations.
To read about the finalists and winning deals, please click here.