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Hogan Lovells Advises on First Refinancing of a Qatari Corporate Sukuk

28 July 2011

DUBAI, 28 July 2011 - International law firm Hogan Lovells acted as international counsel to Gulf International Bank B.S.C. (GIB), as sole booker runner and joint lead manager, in relation to a US$215 million sukuk issuance for Qatar's Almana Group W.L.L (Almana). Barwa Bank Q.S.C., the International Bank of Qatar Q.S.C. and Qatar Islamic Bank S.A.Q. also acted as joint lead managers for the issuance.

The sukuk, due for redemption in July 2016, is due to be listed on the London Stock Exchange and follows Almana's first issuance of AED600 million in 2008 which Hogan Lovells also advised on.

The sukuk also marks the first re-financing of a Qatari corporate sukuk, using a voluntary early redemption which required the consent of holders of Almana’s first sukuk.

The GIB team acting as sole bookrunner and joint lead manager to the issuance included Iftikhar Ali, Roderick Gordon and Imran Afzal.

The Hogan Lovells team was led by Hogan Lovells' Global Head of Islamic Finance, Rahail Ali, and Partner Imran Mufti, and supported by Senior Associate Daniel Rankin.

A GIB spokesperson said

“Given the uncertain market conditions during book building resulting from events in Greece and the USA, to successfully close the first non-domestic Qatari deal of the year and one of the few corporate deals out of the GCC this year in line with price guidance, is a great accolade for Almana, GIB and Hogan Lovells.  The key test was to run a Sharia compliant early redemption process, the first for a Qatari corporate, in parallel with the new sukuk offering. However, the success of the redemption and the new sukuk offering illustrates the resilience of GCC investors and continuing appetite for Islamic investments even in challenging markets.”

Imran Mufti also commented:

"The challenge was creating a practical and Sharia compliant early redemption structure for the first issuance whilst balancing the key commercial considerations of Almana for a second sukuk.  It was a pleasure to once again work with GIB and Almana."


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