Baroness Warsi Confirms Imminent Closure of UK Debut Sovereign Sukuk at 2014 London Sukuk Summit Gala Dinner Awards Ceremony as Best Achievers in the Islamic Capital Markets Industry in 2013 are Duly Recognised
The 8th London Sukuk Summit Awards Ceremony, which was held on the evening of the 18th June at the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel in Knightsbridge at a Gala Dinner as part of the Annual London Sukuk Summit, assumed even greater prominence in the light of the recent announcement by the UK Treasury that it had launched its much-awaited debut sovereign Sukuk Al Ijarah.
Indeed, the 2014 Sukuk Summit Awards, whose main objective is to recognise the outstanding contribution and achievements of individuals, institutions, supranationals and financial centres serving the global Islamic financial services industry, especially the proliferating global Sukuk market, was graced by the presence of none other than Guest of Honour, Rt Hon Baroness Saeeda Warsi, Senior Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Other prominent guests included Sir Paul Judge, Sheriff of the City of London; Jaseem Ahmed, Secretary General of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the prudential and supervisory standard setting board for the global Islamic Finance industry; and a bevy of top bankers, lawyers, accountants, business executives and academics.
Baroness Warsi, who is also the UK Government Ministerial Lead on Islamic Finance, reiterated the strong commitment of the Coalition Government led by Prime Minister David Cameron to developing the UK’s Islamic Finance proposition including London’s position as an international centre for Islamic trade, finance and investment.
She confirmed that HM Treasury had appointed five banks to manage the UK’s debut sovereign international Sukuk, expected to be in the region of £200 million, and that officials had embarked on road shows in key cities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and in South East Asia. She expected the Sukuk issuance to be closed “within the next few weeks”.
The 2014 Awards, hosted by the organiser, ICG-Events, once again proved highly successful with a wide-ranging number of deserved recipients honoured in categories from countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Malaysia, Germany, Oman and the UK.
This year there was one Special Award – ‘Lifetime Achievement to the Development of Shariah-compliant Export Credit & Investment Insurance Services’, which was given to Dr Abdel Rahman El Tayeb Taha, the Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), the export credit agency of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group.
ICIEC this year is celebrating its 20th Anniversary and the Corporation has provided trade and political risk insurance worth US$24.4 billion to Member Countries over the last two decades.
In the citation, Mushtak Parker, Editor of Islamic Banker, officiating at the ceremony, stressed that the Award was in recognition of Dr Taha’s outstanding leadership of ICIEC and putting export credit and investment insurance on the Islamic Finance map especially amongst member countries of the IDB Group and thus contributing to the promotion of intra-Islamic trade and investment.
Thanks to Dr Taha’s leadership, the Corporation is a member of such prestigious organisations such as the Berne Union, the Prague Club and the AMAN Union, and has a very high reputation and standing in the international export credit and political risk insurance fraternity. The Award was received on behalf of Dr Taha by Adil Babiker, Head of Legal Affairs, ICIEC.
ICG-Events also honoured one individual who has contributed extensively to the development of Islamic financial services and capital markets over the last two decades. Indeed, Emad Al Monayea, Board Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kuwait Finance House Investment Co. KSCC, received the ‘Award of Excellence for Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Islamic Capital Markets’, especially for contribution to the development of the Sukuk markets in the GCC region and Turkey in the nascent of the Sukuk industry and in forging new frontiers for Sukuk origination in countries such as South Africa.
Through Mr Al Monayea’s leadership, his investment bank played a key role in some of the early iconic Sukuk transactions in the GCC and in helping the Turkish Under-secretariat and participation banks such as Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank to issue their debut sovereign Sukuk. He was also instrumental in his bank being appointed one of the Mandated Lead Advisors to the proposed debut sovereign Sukuk issuance by the National Treasury in South Africa.
The Awards also recognised the achievements of market players in key categories. Malaysia’s CIMB Investment Bank, one of the major Sukuk arrangers and managers in the global industry, won the Award for ‘Best Lead Arranger of Sukuk in 2013’. CIMB Group, in which the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, has a strategic stake and has been involved in structuring some of the iconic Sukuk transactions in the industry over the last one-and-a-half decades and was appointed in June 2014 as one of the mandated managers for the UK’s debut sovereign Sukuk, which is expected to close within the next week or so.
At the same time, the ‘Award of Excellence for Most Innovative Sukuk Structure’ this year went to the FWU AG Group of Germany for the US$100 million Insurance-Linked Sukuk Wakala Programme. Following on from its debut US$55 million Sukuk Al-Ijarah issued in November 2012 through its Luxembourg SPV, Salam Lux SA, FWU in October 2013 sponsored the launch of a US$100 million insurance-linked Sukuk Al Wakala Programme, of which the first tranche of US$20 million was issued in October last year and the second tranche of US$20 million in April 2014.
One of the more poignant and perhaps understated Awards on the night went to ICIEC, the export credit agency of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. ICIEC was honoured with the ‘Award of Excellence for Most Innovative New Islamic Capital Market’s Product’ for its pioneering Sukuk Insurance Policy (SIP), which was rolled out earlier this year. The SIP is the first product of its kind because it is the first time an Islamic insurer is offering a Third Party risk mitigation instrument for Sukuk issuances.
It is also the only Shariah-compliant Takaful product used as a credit enhancement in the Islamic capital and finance market, and is provided by a multilateral institution having a long experience in the credit and political insurance industry and enjoying a high rating of Aa3 by Moody’s Investors Service and a high level of support from its member countries.
There were a number of Award recipients from the UK. The DDCAP Group led by the seasoned Stella Cox, the Managing Director, scooped two Awards – one an ‘Award of Excellence for Best Facilitator of Secondary Market Sukuk Transactions’ and the other an ‘Award of Excellence for Best Islamic Trade Execution Platform’. DDCAP Group is a pioneer of Islamic Finance intermediation services in the UK serving clients and counterparties in the GCC countries, Turkey, Malaysia and beyond. It has also one of the largest commodity Murabaha brokerage services serving the Islamic Finance industry.
Other UK recipients included City law firm Ashurst LLP, for the ‘Award of Excellence for Outstanding Contribution by a Law Firm to Islamic Finance’, where Partner, Abradat Kamalpour, another stalwart of the UK Islamic Finance scene, has huge experience in working on several major transactions, including Sukuk originations.
Similarly, Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME), lead by Chief Executive Officer, Humphrey Percy, was recognised for its ‘Outstanding Contribution to Islamic Finance in the UK’. BLME is the best performing Shariah-compliant bank authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It has pioneered providing such services and products to a new market segment in the UK, namely small-and-medium-sized British-owned companies located in various parts of the UK, and also participated as co-manager and adviser of the IDB’s recent $1.5 billion Sukuk issuance.
Abacus Emerging Markets (AEM) were also honoured with an ‘Award of Excellence for Best New Market Entrant’. AEM is a specialist investment banking firm which connects businesses from Europe, Australia and Asia-Pacific with those in Emerging Markets including the Middle East &North Africa (MENA) region. It has experience in providing solutions in a Shariah-compliant format including facilitating cross-border Sukuk flows and has specific expertise relating to the agricultural, mining, construction and international finance sectors.
QInvest maintinated its position as the leading investment Bank in the region by winning the ‘Award of Excellence for Best Sukuk Structuring House in the Middle East’; the Award on the evening was received by Hani Ibrahim, Managing Director of Debt Capital Markets at QInvest.
The final three accolades went to Rasameel Structured Finance Company K.S.C. in Kuwait for an ‘Award of Excellence for Best Islamic Structured Finance House in the GCC’ for structuring and arranging the YAAS KD12.5 million Sukuk issued by YAAS Instalments for Credit – the first Sukuk to be issued out of Kuwait, albeit offshore, in the last few years.
Similarly, CIMB Islamic Bank, headed by the experienced Chief Executive Officer, Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, won the ‘Award of Excellence for Best Islamic Financial Institution in Malaysia’ which is in many respects a pioneer of Sukuk both in the domestic, regional and international markets.
At the same time, Bank Nizwa won the ‘Award of Excellence for Best Islamic Financial Institution in Oman’, which is a nascent but growing Islamic Finance market in the GCC region.
The full list of Award winners, specifically for Sukuk and in the Islamic Finance sector can be viewed on the Summit website.