(MENAFN - Arab News) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, yesterday rang the opening bell at Dubai Financial Market (DFM) during the listing ceremony of a sukuk issued by Emirates Airline on Nasdaq Dubai, the Middle East's international financial exchange.
The listing of the 1 billion sukuk supports Dubai's intensive efforts in this regard after the launch of (Dubai the Center of Sukuk) initiative by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minster and Ruler of Dubai and in line with his vision to position Dubai as the capital of Islamic economy globally.
It brings the nominal value of sukuk listed on Dubai exchanges to 10.625 billion, the third largest total in the world, according to a statement received here.
The sukuk issued by Emirates was sold successfully to investors in MENA, Europe, Asia, and some offshore US accounts.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum said: "As an international exchange, Nasdaq Dubai gives our listing global visibility whilst at the same time providing us with a listing in the city where we are based. The exchange's high regulatory standards and streamlined listing procedures make it an ideal venue for listing capital-raising securities."
Mohammed Abdulla Al-Gergawi, chairman of The Executive Office of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE vice president, prime minister and Ruler of Dubai, and chairman of the Higher Committee for development of the Islamic economy sector, said: "As the expansion of the Islamic economy gathers pace, the Emirates sukuk provides further evidence of Dubai's excellence as a center for issuing, listing and trading of Islamic capital-raising securities after the successful listing of DEWA sukuk recently."
He added: "We will continue to strengthen the leading position of the UAE in this sector through various efforts and the creation of a range of world-class Islamic financial products, for both institutions and individuals."
Essa Kazim, managing director and chief executive of Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and secretary general of the committee, said: "Dubai's capital markets are growing rapidly in scope and sophistication, with Islamic finance playing a leading role. The issuance of the Emirates sukuk, and its listing on Nasdaq Dubai, demonstrate the strength of Dubai's financial markets architecture and its ability to serve leading international companies."
Abdul Wahed Al-Fahim, chairman of Nasdaq Dubai, said: "This listing by one of the world's leading airlines is an important step toward Nasdaq Dubai's goal of becoming the largest exchange in the world for sukuk, by listed value."
He added: "We look forward to welcoming sukuk issuers from around the world as well as our own region, as the asset class grows in popularity among investors of all types and in all areas of the globe. As well as providing a listing venue, Nasdaq Dubai plans to expand the range of services that it offers to sukuk issuers and investors."
Global sukuk issuance reached 140 billion in 2012, up 64 percent from 85 billion in 2011, according to Zawya. Issuers in the UAE issued more than 6 billion of sukuk in 2012.