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Abu Dhabi, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Etihad Airways has been awarded the Islamic Deal of the Year by Global Transport Finance for its debut Sukuk.  

The Abu Dhabi-based national airline of the United Arab Emirates successfully completed a Sukuk issuance raising US$1.5 billion in November 2016 – the largest ever in the aviation industry in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA).

The Sukuk represented a landmark debt capital market transaction for both the aviation sector and the Islamic markets. The ground-breaking funding from institutional investors across MENA and Europe was the first ever debt capital markets issuance by Etihad Airways.

The airline successfully optimised pricing and size of the Sukuk, reflected by investors’ appetite which resulted in the final transaction – US$1.5 billion against an initial indication of US$500 million.

HSBC, J.P. Morgan and National Bank of Abu Dhabi were mandated as Joint Arrangers for the five-year issuance, with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and First Gulf Bank mandated as Joint Bookrunners.

James Rigney, Etihad Aviation Group Chief Financial Officer, said: “This historic transaction was the result of a solid plan put together by our Treasury team which generated great feedback from the markets.” 

James Hogan, Etihad Aviation Group President and Chief Executive Officer, added: “An innovative approach to business is at the heart of our strategy at Etihad Airways. I am delighted to see the high level of confidence in our business reflected by the ground-breaking Sukuk, and credit to James Rigney and his treasury team for creating a framework that developed a strong appetite from the markets, particularly during challenging times in the financial sector and for our industry.”

Global Transport Finance (GTF) is a transportation finance publication for the commercial aviation, shipping and rail industries, reporting on the latest developments in aircraft, shipping and rail financing / leasing. The accolade was presented at GTF’s annual awards event in London.

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