US $350 million Islamic funding for Nakheel

DIB, Citigroup, HSBC and Stanchart in record Ijara syndication

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By  Eudore Chand Published  September 4, 2004

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has signed up with Nakheel to lead manage and arrange a record US $350 million Ijara syndication – the biggest in the UAE - with three of the world’s leading financial institutions. “Dubai Islamic Bank in its role as the arranger and lead manager together with co-arrangers Citigroup, Standard Chartered and HSBC, have jointly confirmed a 10-year loan to Nakheel for $350 million. This is the single largest Islamic financing deal to be concluded to date in the UAE. The Ijara syndication illustrates the strong confidence that the banking community has in Nakheel and in Dubai,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman of Nakheel. The syndication will provide a capital injection for Nakheel as it consolidates and builds on its extensive and rapidly expanding portfolio of developments, which now include The World, Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali, International City, Jumeirah Islands, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Discovery Gardens, The Gardens and The Gardens Shopping Mall. “Together, all these distinguished people have supported the philosophy that has defined Nakheel from the very start. As we embark on further ambitious and prestigious programmes for Dubai and the UAE they are together with us. When they offer us their signatures, what they are really doing is offering us their solid support,” added bin Sulayem. Citigroup’s Citi Islamic Investment Bank managing director Saad Zaman said: “This landmark deal will further promote Islamic finance as a viable alternative to conventional methods, locally as well as globally.” “Nakheel is playing a major part in the transformation of the emirate into what has probably become one of the most talked about tourism destinations in the whole world,” said Jonathan Morris, head of client relationships, UAE and Oman, Standard Chartered Bank. Wasim Saifi, senior vice-president of corporate banking at DIB said: “Nakheel’s decision to mandate DIB to lead manage the syndication is also a boost for Islamic finance. There can be no question now that Islamic finance provides a very real and desirable alternative for the funding needs of the region’s most prominent businesses and that it can offer a real degree of flexibility comparable to any other financial products on offer.”

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