UAE's The First Group eyes expansion after $135m sukuk deal

Shuaa Capital announces five-year sukuk for The First Group, a UAE-based property and hospitality developer
UAE's The First Group eyes expansion after $135m sukuk deal
By Sam Bridge
Thu 15 Aug 2019 01:50 PM

Shuaa Capital on Thursday announced the issuance and placement of a $135 million dollar-denominated five-year sukuk for The First Group (TFG), a UAE-based property and hospitality developer.

Shuaa, which has recently completed a merger with Abu Dhabi Financial Group, acted as the sole arranger andunderwriter for the sukuk which is also listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Structured as a senior-secured asset-backed (Ijarah) sukuk, the funding provides growth capital to TFG to execute its pipeline of developments and continue expanding its business in the UAE and beyond, a statement said.

Rashad Barajakly, managing partner and chief financial officer of TFG, said: “Having successfully delivered 11 developments over the last decade, TFG has been transitioning from a pure real estate developer to an asset manager as well as an operator of international and home grown F&B brands.

"The sukuk provides financing that will allow us to deliver on our pipeline and grow the business.”

Fawad Tariq-Khan, CEO of Shuaa, added: “We are delighted to continue partnering with great companies such as TFG in providing financing solutions and expanding access to both providers and seekers of capital in the region.”

The issuance reflects a growing trend in the debt capital markets, with ratings agency S&P estimating global sukuk issuances could potentially reach $115 billion in 2019.

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