There were four landmark deals by four outstanding issuers from diverse markets, all deserving of international recognition, from Saudi Electricity Company’s SAR168 billion (US$44.78 billion) corporate financing which supports the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 by contributing to the transformation of the power sector and Malaysia’s RM666 million (US$164.64 million) digital Sukuk, to Egypt’s largest local-denominated private sector debt by ACP and DP World Salaam’s US$1.5 billion facility which has the distinction of being the first corporate hybrid with an international rating.
But at the end of the day, there can only be one winner. After great deliberation by the independent IFN Awards Board, it has been decided that the Sukuk innovation that is Malaysia’s Sukuk Prihatin is 2020’s IFN Overall Deal of the Year. Retail Sukuk offerings are few and far between in the corporate Sukuk-dominated Malaysian market and the Sukuk Prihatin, brought to market on a digital vehicle, proved the immense latent demand for Shariah compliant purpose-driven investment instruments.
The government of Malaysia was not unique in addressing COVID-19. The IsDB Group was proactive in helping members. Egypt accessed the international syndicated markets. Many countries came to the market. It was how Malaysia did it. Sukuk Prihatin ticked old, new and different boxes in the best way as follows:
|Government of Malaysia’s Sukuk Prihatin|
|Size:||RM666 million (US$164.64 million)|
|Shariah advisor:||Shariah committee of Bank Negara Malaysia|
1. The Sukuk were integrated into the Malaysian National Recovery Plan and supported among other activities:
a. COVID-19 medical spending
b. Infectious disease research
c. MSME financing, and
d. Improving connectivity to rural schools and nearby villages.
2. The Sukuk Prihatin facility was the first digital Sukuk using digital payment platforms.
3. Supported by 27 banks, the deal allowed for retail investors to subscribe for as little as RM500 (US$123.6).
4. Tax-deductible investor waivers of capital.
Digital, retail and charitable features are all concepts which may be adopted globally, creating a smoother and more unique Sukuk market. Being proactive has long been a feature of the Malaysian market, and we all hope that it becomes infectious leading to a more vibrant global Islamic finance market.
Our heartiest congratulations to the Malaysian government for taking home the IFN Deal of the Year 2020 award as well as to our finalists for their dealmaking ingenuity and invaluable contributions to the Islamic financing landscape. We look forward to celebrating all winners of the IFN Deals of the Year Awards at the IFN Awards Ceremonies in September and October. To learn more about the finalists, click here and to read about all the winners of the IFN Deals of the Year Awards, click here.