World’s 1st Benchmark Corporate Green Sukuk

15 May 2019
Majid Al Futtaim x Nasdaq Dubai - Bell Ringing2

Majid Al Futtaim listed the world’s first benchmark corporate Green Sukuk and first Green Sukuk issued by a corporate in the region

- Region’s first corporate Green Sukuk and valued at USD 600 million
- Investment to be used for financing existing and future green projects
- Issuance is a key milestone towards the retail conglomerate’s 2040 Net Positive goals

Dubai, UAE, May 15, 2019: Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia today rang the market-opening bell at Nasdaq Dubai to mark the listing of the world’s first benchmark corporate Green Sukuk and the first Green Sukuk issued by a corporate in the region.

Valued at USD 600 million and with a tenor of ten years, the Green Sukuk is testament to Majid Al Futtaim’s long term commitment to support the transition to a low carbon economy. The investment will be used to finance and refinance Majid Al Futtaim’s existing and future green projects, including green buildings, renewable energy, sustainable water management, and energy efficiency.

To mark the occasion, Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim - Holding, rang the market-opening bell in the presence of His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Chairman of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), Hamed Ali, Chief Executive of Nasdaq Dubai and members of Majid Al Futtaim’s leadership team.

Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim - Holding, said: “This issuance will enable Majid Al Futtaim to deliver more sustainable experiences for our customers and to address the implications of climate change. As we progress on our sustainability journey, we are extremely proud to list the world’s first benchmark corporate Green Sukuk and look forward to identifying and pioneering innovative ways to meet our ambition to be Net Positive by 2040. The widespread interest from global investors in the bond indicates their confidence in our ESG rating, BBB credit rating, and prudent financial and risk management approach. Investors’ faith in our vision empowers us to continue on our path to become one of the most environmentally sustainable companies within our industries.”

His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Chairman of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), said: “Majid Al Futtaim’s Green Sukuk listing reflects the forward-looking and progressive outlook of Dubai’s leading businesses and the vitality of its capital markets infrastructure. The listing further supports Dubai’s growth as the global capital of the Islamic economy, under the initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minster, and Ruler of Dubai.”

In preparation for issuance of the Green Sukuk, Majid Al Futtaim recently established a Green Finance Framework and a Green Finance Steering Committee, which will oversee the selection of new and existing projects for the green portfolio. Majid Al Futtaim has also received a “low risk” environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating by Sustainalytics, an independent ESG auditor, certifying the company is at ‘low risk’ of experiencing financial impact from ESG factors, due to its low exposure and effective management of ESG issues.

Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, Chief Sustainability Officer at Majid Al Futtaim - Holding, said: “The Green Sukuk demonstrates our commitment to upholding sustainable practices across our businesses and communities we operate in. The Green Sukuk further supports our ambitious Net Positive strategy and through the proceeds generated, will deliver impactful and measurable socio-economic and environmental benefits.”

With the Green Sukuk listing, the value of all debt instruments listed on Nasdaq Dubai by Majid Al Futtaim has reached USD 2.4 billion. The company’s other listings comprise one Sukuk of USD 500 million that listed in 2015, and two conventional bonds of USD 500 million each that listed in 2013 and 2014 respectively, and a USD 300 million tap on the 2014 bond that listed in 2016.

Hamed Ali, Chief Executive of Nasdaq Dubai, said: “We are delighted to further strengthen our close collaboration with Majid Al Futtaim through this green Sukuk listing. Nasdaq Dubai is committed to supporting the company as well as all its issuers through the high visibility that we provide to investors around the world as well as best practice regulatory infrastructure.”

In 2017, Majid Al Futtaim launched its Net Positive strategy which aims to significantly reduce the company’s water consumption and carbon emissions to the extent that it puts more back into the environment than it takes out, resulting in a positive corporate footprint by 2040.

The company has a proven track record of applying green building best practices across its portfolio. The company was the first organisation in the region to achieve LEED certification for its shopping malls, hotels and offices buildings. Al Zahia, the company’s flagship community in Sharjah is the first BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rated community in the MENA region. Majid Al Futtaim introduced a Sustainable Building Policy that set minimum building standars as: LEED Gold V4 (USGBC), 3 Pearl (ESTDAMA) or BREEAM ‘Very Good’ Rating. The company now owns close to 3 million m2 green certified floor areas, including the recently opened My City Centre Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s most sustainable shopping mall.

In 2018, the company received the ‘Green Star’ rating by Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmarks (GRESB) for the fifth consecutive year, in recognition for its sustainable practices and initiatives, resulting in a score of 84%, outperforming the global benchmark average by 7% and the GRESB average by 17%. The company was ranked the 6th best performing non-listed company in the retail sector across Asia in 2018. 

Majid Al Futtaim closed 2018 with a solid financial and liquidity position covering its net financing needs for the next 3 years through its cash and available committed lines. In 2018, the company’s group revenue grew by 7% reaching AED 34.6 billion, while EBITDA increased by 9% year-on-year to AED 4.6 billion. The company continued to maintain a strong balance sheet with total assets valued at AED 60.4 billion and a net debt of around AED 12.6 billion. Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s have reaffirmed the company’s credit rating at ‘BBB’ with a stable outlook, for a seventh consecutive year, reiterating its credit strengths such as the resilience of its business model, quality of assets, strong corporate governance and prudent financial management. 

The total value of all Sukuk listed on Dubai’s exchanges has now reached 61.49 billion US dollars, the largest amount of any listing centre in the world.

 
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