NBAD to host a panel discussion in London on “Future of Sukuk”

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the Middle East’s leading bank, in partnership with CNBC, the leading business and financial news network, will host a panel discussion on the “Future of Sukuk” in London, the UK, on February 4th, 2015.

2014 was one of the most active years in the history of Islamic finance, in which a record 19 jurisdictions accessed the global Sukuk market. Leading industry experts and senior decision-makers from around the world will convene in London for a high-level meeting to discuss opportunities, trends and innovation in the Islamic finance industry.

The panel will comprise Michael Bennett, Head of Derivatives and Structured Finance of The World Bank; Gordon Welsh, Head of Aviation of UK Export Finance; Dr. Massoud Janekeh, Director& Head of Islamic Capital Markets of Bank of London and The Middle East; and Mushtak Parker, Editor of Islamic Banker. The panel will be moderated by Andy Cairns, Managing Director and Global Head of Debt Origination & Distribution at NBAD.

Alex Thursby, NBAD’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Islamic bond has witnessed rapid growth in the global market for the previous 10 years. However, it is developments over the past 12 months that have really transformed the way the market views the asset class, with a number of non-Islamic countries issuing sovereign Sukuk. NBAD has been fortunate enough to be involved in a number of these transactions, including the UK government’s debut Sukuk and the Malaysian Ringgit Sukuk. It is critical that institutions such as ours play an active role in nurturing the growth of the Islamic finance industry and I am hugely excited that we are able to host this event.”

Andy Cairns, Managing Director and Global Head of Debt Origination & Distribution at NBAD, said: “2014 saw a number of notable firsts in International Sukuk: the debut non-Islamic sovereign Sukuk, the first Western financial institution Sukuk, the first Basel 3 compliant Tier 1 Capital Sukuk and the first socially responsible Sukuk among others. NBAD was bookrunner on these transactions and I expect 2015 to witness a further maturing of the market as Sukuk becomes increasingly relevant to global issuers. Middle Eastern and Islamic investors remain highly liquid and tell us they are motivated to buy more international names in Shariah-compliant format”.

Farid Barakat, NBAD’s London CEO, said “This panel discussion is taking place at the first non-Islamic state to issue sukuk and at time when world economy is witnessing an increase interest in sukuk. Our speakers will share their views on the demand for Islamic finance and the opportunities and challenges exist for growth of Sharia-compliant bonds in the West.”

The “Future of Sukuk: West East Corridor” is the second in a series of events being held around the world to support NBAD’s 2015 Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF) in Abu Dhabi in March. The “Future of Sukuk: West East Corridor” follows “The Future of Energy: West East Corridor”, which was held in Kuala Lumpur in January. The next series event is being held in Mumbai in June.

The GFMF series extends the Bank’s highly acclaimed annual GFMF to an ongoing global discussion in key markets around the world. They focus on NBAD’s five key industry sectors: financial institutions, energy, aviation and transportation, real estate and family conglomerates, and retailers.

In just six years, the GFMF has evolved to become the premier annual financial markets conference in the MENA region, attracting over 1,300 delegates from around the world to Abu Dhabi. In recent years, GFMF has hosted highly-distinguished speakers from all over the world, including Dr Ben Bernanke, Dr Lawrence Summers, James Baker, Nicholas Sarkozy, David Milliband, Jean-Claude Trichet, Niall Ferguson, Paul Volcker, Axel Weber, Dr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and His Excellency Nasser Ahmed Al Sowaidi.

The 2015 GFMF, to be held in Abu Dhabi on 1-2 March, will continue to showcase a high-calibre mix of regional and international speakers, facilitating thought-provoking discussions both on and off stage. The forum will be covered extensively by CNBC, who will be broadcasting live from their on-site studio at the Emirates Palace. The series will conclude its discussion in Mumbai in June 2015.  

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