Capital markets in United Arab Emirates

Allen & Overy LLP

Highlighted for its 'strong partner oversight' and 'excellent track record', Allen & Overy LLP has established itself as a leading firm in the UAE for debt and equity capital markets work. In international work, a cross-office team led by Khalid Garousha advised Dubai-headquartered client Network International on its IPO and listing on the Premium Segment of the London Stock Exchange. Elsewhere, Bilal Ahmad advised the issuer, Emirates Development Bank (EDB), on the establishment of its $3bn euro medium-term note programme and the issuance of $750m notes; this marked the first issuance under the UAE's federal debt law and was also EDB's debut issuance. Anzal Mohammed heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Anzal Mohammed

Testimonials

An excellent team that provides a best in class execution.

Strong partner oversight, excellent track record and consistency in quality of advice.

Anzal Mohammad and Bilal Ahmad in the Dubai office are exceptional.

Key clients

Network International

Compañía Española de Petróleos, S.A.U. (CEPSA)/Mubadala Investment Corporation

Abraaj Capital

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Tabreed

NMC Healthcare LLC

Emirates Development Bank P.J.S.C.

Standard Chartered Bank

Samba Financial Group

BNY Mellon Corporate Trustee Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Emirates Development Bank on the establishment of its $3bn EMTN programme and the issuance of $750m 3.516% notes due 2024 thereunder.
  • Advised Network International, the leading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and North Africa region, on its £2.2bn IPO on the LSE.
  • Advised the joint lead managers and the delegate on the $750m additional Tier 1 sukuk issuance by ADIB Capital Invest 2 Ltd. with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC acting as mudareb.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has a highly regarded capital markets team in the UAE. Mike Taylor heads the ECM practice, which has taken roles on numerous precedent-setting equity offerings in the market and also has a solid track record handling London premium listings of UAE-based companies. In a recent example, the team advised a syndicate of banks (including Citigroup, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and others) on the IPO of shares in Dubai-based company Network International in London. On the debt side, the team has recently handled conventional bonds, sukuk, sovereign issues, commercial paper and securitisations, among other transactions. Stuart Ure leads the DCM practice.

Practice head(s):

Mike Taylor; Stuart Ure

Key clients

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

Australian Postal Corporation

J.P Morgan

Goldman Sachs

Moelis

Morgan Stanley

NBD Capital

DP World PLC

HSBC Bank plc

Standard Chartered Bank

Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank / Union National Bank

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

The Government of Sharjah, acting through the Sharjah Finance Department

The Sultanate of Oman, acting through the Ministry of Finance

Emirates Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of banks on the initial public offering of shares in Network International on the premium listing segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority and to trading on the LSE’s main market for listed securities.
  • Advising ENBD (as issuer) on its issuance of $1bn perpetual additional tier 1 capital securities.
  • Advising the arrangers and dealers on the establishment by General Holding Corporation PJSC (Senaat) of its $3bn trust certificate issuance programme and the inaugural issuance of $300m 4.760% trust certificates due 2025 thereunder.

Linklaters

Linklaters stands out for its leading DCM practice. Highlights included its assistance to Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK) with the update of its EMTN programme and the subsequent issue of $500m notes due 2024 thereunder, which was the first time since 2015 that BBK had updated its programme and completed an issuance of notes thereunder; Jonathan Fried led the advice and was supported by managing associates Ross Whibley and Dalia Nammari. Equity deals also feature; in particular, the Dubai-based team is able to work alongside colleagues in London on IPOs of Middle East-based companies and listings on the LSE. Corporate and ECM expert Scott Campbell is a name to note, as is managing associate Nicola Minervini.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Fried

Work highlights

  • Advised Citigroup Global Markets, as the lead manager, on the $1.5bn Series 12 8.7002% Notes due 2049 issued by The Arab Republic of Egypt under its $20bn global medium-term note programme.
  • Acted for the global co-ordinators on the establishment of the Emirate of Sharjah’s Trust Certificate Issuance Programme and the subsequent $1bn drawdown thereunder.
  • Advised a lead manager on the $1bn Series 211. 3.500% Notes due 2024 issued by QNB Finance Ltd under its $17.5bn medium-term note programme guaranteed by Qatar National Bank.

White & Case LLP

'Nimble, knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile for clients', White & Case LLP covers the gamut of capital market transactions in the UAE and, with its strong office network, across the region. The team advises on the full range of securities offered domestically and internationally, including sukuk and conventional bonds, convertible bonds, IPOs and secondary equity offerings and rights issues. Highlights included Debashis Dey's advice to the managers on the issuances by Dubai-based global port operator DP World of $300m notes due 2048 and $1bn trust certificates due 2029 under its GMTN programme and its trust certificate issuance programme, respectively. Xuan Jin was promoted to counsel. Sean Johnson left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Debashis Dey; Abdulwahid Alulama; Ali Shaikley

Testimonials

The ultimate professionals and extremely personable. High level of experience and expertise. Excellent client care.

Nimble, knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile for their clients. Happy to assist in brainstorming even if not formally mandated.

Excellent knowledge of DCM capital markets and complex transaction structures.

Highly recommend Claudio Medeossi and senior associate Greg Pospodonis. Debashis Dey and Kevin Ng are landmarks in their respective fields.

Key clients

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)

Department of Energy, Government of Abu Dhabi

Government of Dubai

Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company

JP Morgan

Goldman Sachs

Emirates NBD Capital

Jefferies

CI Capital

HSBC

Citigroup

Deutsche Bank

Morgan Stanley

ADES International Holding Plc

SHUAA Capital Psc

EFG Hermes

Work highlights

  • Advised the managers on the issuances by DP World of $300m notes due 2048 and $1bn trust certificates due 2029.
  • Advised the Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC) on the establishment of its inaugural domestic SAR11bn sukuk issuance programme, and the issuance thereunder of SAR750m across four series.
  • Acted for the sponsor (JP Morgan Cazenove) and joint global coordinations (JP Morgan Cazenove, Goldman Sachs and Barclays) on the IPO of Finablr on the LSE.

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company is noted for its extensive office network and for having the 'local knowledge needed to get the job done properly and efficiently'. It has a leading ECM practice in the UAE and across the MENA region, and is also adept in DCM transactions. In a major mandate, the team advised Network International on the IPO of its shares on the LSE in April 2019, in what was the first international IPO in London that year. Andrew Tarbuck heads the capital markets practice, while Rafiq Jaffer leads on DCM work. Managing partner Husam Hourani is another key contact.

Testimonials

The Capital Markets team at Al Tamimi is top rate and compares well and sometimes better than the big firms from the UK.

They also operate in 17 jurisdictions in the Middle East and have the local knowledge needed to get the job done properly and efficiently. Highly recommend.

Key clients

Network International Holdings

Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority

Aster DM Healthcare

BLME Holdings

Ithmar Capital

Gulf Capital

ACWA Power

Dana Gas

Emaar

Marka

Work highlights

  • Advised Network International on its $3bn IPO on the LSE.
  • Advising on Aster DM Healthcare’s 2018 listing on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India .
  • Advising Gulf Navigation on its AED100m convertible sukuk in a unique structure which allows the bondholders to invest in the operating activities of Gulf Navigation similar to a joint venture partner or investor.

Dentons

Combing its strengths in DCM and Islamic finance, Dentons has a leading practice for sukuk issuances. It also stands out in the Basel III space, with recent highlights including its advice to the joint lead managers (Citigroup, Standard Chartered Bank, Kuwait Finance House, Kamco Investment Company and Dubai Islamic Bank) on a proposed issuance of Additional Tier 1 Capital Sukuk (Basel III-compliant regulatory capital) by Kuwait International Bank. The firm is often instructed on innovative and novel capital markets deals in the market. In a recent example, it advised the joint lead managers on the issuance of Majid Al Futtaim's Green Sukuk (Trust Certificates) due 2029; this was the first corporate green sukuk issuance in the Middle East. Alex Roussos heads the team, which was bolstered by the arrival of senior associate Joshua Pileggi from Dechert in 2019. Sana Siddiqui is another name to note at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Alex Roussos

Work highlights

  • Advising the joint lead managers on a proposed issuance of additional tier 1 capital sukuk (Basel III-compliant regulatory capital) by Kuwait International Bank KSCP.
  • Advising the joint lead managers on the issuance of Majid Al Futtaim’s green sukuk.
  • Advising the Bank of Sharjah on the update of its $1.5bn EMTN programme.

Latham & Watkins LLP

The impressive DCM department at Latham & Watkins LLP advises on complex Sukuk and conventional bond issuances. The firm has a strong track record advising on sovereign and quasi-sovereign issuances; in recent work, it advised the government of Dubai on the update of its EMTN programme and trust certificate issuance programme. DCM expert and managing partner of the Dubai office Nomaan Raja leads on many of the department's major transactions; also of note are banking and finance specialist Harj Rai and counsel Basil Al-Jafari.

Practice head(s):

Nomaan Raja

Key clients

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

J.P. Morgan

HSBC

Dar Al-Arkan

Standard Chartered

nogaholding

Government of Dubai

Dana Gas

Work highlights

  • Advised the Government of Dubai on the update of its EMTN Programme and trust certificate issuance programme.
  • Advised the joint lead managers on the sukuk issuance of $800m certificates due 2024 and $1.2bn certificates due 2028 by Saudi Electricity Company.
  • Advised Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) on its $1bn senior secured high-yield bond offering.

Matouk Bassiouny & Ibrahim

Egypt-headquartered firm  hired Ahmed Ibrahim and a team in the UAE from Al Tamimi in 2018 and is now at the top of the market for ECM. In a major mandate, it advised Finablr plc on its IPO and listing on the LSE; the firm's role involved advising on UAE law, with an emphasis on ADGM trust law, and the impact of the new Foreign Direct Investment Law on the proposed structure. Corporate and M&A and capital markets partner Malack El Masry and associate Dania Yassin are key members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Ahmed Ibrahim

Key clients

Ajman Bank

Sarwa Capital

Finablr PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Finablr plc on its IPO and listing on the LSE.
  • Acted as lead legal counsel to Ajman Bank on its rights issue of AED470m.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP established an impressive debt capital markets practice with the hire of highly regarded partner Rizwan Kanji and experienced counsel Hamed Afzal from King & Spalding LLP in 2019. The team has a focus on high-end work, including market firsts, with an emphasis on sukuk issuances, and is noted for its 'quick turnaround times' and 'solutions-driven approach'.

Practice head(s):

Rizwan Kanji

Testimonials

Quality of advice, availability, quick turnaround times, ability to think outside the box and provide a solutions-driven approach.

Key clients

Islamic Development Bank

Al Bilad Capital

Ashmore Investments Saudi Arabia

Emirates NBD Capital

Kuveyt Turk Katilim Bankasi A.S.

BNY Mellon Corporate Trustee Services Limited

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector

Bank ABC

Nomura

Warba Bank K.S.C.P

Maisarah Islamic Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising ICD and Emirates NBD Capital Limited, as joint lead managers, on the proposed benchmark US Dollar Trust Certificates to be issued by Bin Haider Hospitality Company (UAE).

Norton Rose Fulbright

The highly regarded capital markets outfit at Norton Rose Fulbright is led by 'excellent' partner Gregory Man and benefits from the additional expertise of Islamic finance expert Mohammed Paracha. Highlights included Man and senior associate Ganna Vlasenko's advice to the joint lead managers on the issuance by Emirates NBD Bank of $1bn perpetual AT1 capital securities, the first-ever conventional Basel III-compliant additional tier 1 (AT1) transaction in the UAE.

Practice head(s):

Gregory Man

Testimonials

Very proactive, practical and knowledgeable.

Greg Man is an excellent lawyer.

Key clients

Emirates Airlines

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector

Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China

Central Bank of Bahrain

Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Albaraka Türk Katılım Bankası A.Ş.

Emirates NBD

Standard Chartered Bank

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

HSBC

Al Rayan Bank Plc

Deutsche Bank AG

Work highlights

  • Advising the arranger and dealers on the update of the $12.5bn EMTN Programme for Emirates NBD Bank PJSC and Emirates NBD Global Funding Limited to provide for benchmark replacement mechanics and related technical update provisions.
  • Advised the joint lead managers on the issuance by Emirates NBD Bank PJSC of $1bn perpetual AT1 capital securities.
  • Advised Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Malaysia’s largest electricity utility company, on a ten-year $750m sukuk issuance.

Simmons & Simmons Middle East

The debt capital markets practice at Simmons & Simmons Middle East advises sovereigns, quasi-sovereigns, financial institutions and public and private companies on large-scale and complex transactions. Lee Irvine has quickly established a strong practice since joining the firm in 2018; recent highlights include his advice to Emirates Strategic Investment Group on the establishment of a $1bn sukuk issuance programme and its debut $600m sukuk thereunder; the sukuk was listed on the LSE’s International Securities Market.

Practice head(s):

Muneer Khan; Lee Irvine

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Barclays Bank Plc

Bnp Paribas

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

Deutsche Bank Ag, London Branch

Ing Bank N.V.

J.P. Morgan Securities Plc

Merrill Lynch International

Morgan Stanley & Co.

Standard Chartered Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising the First Group on a $135m secured 10.50% amortising certificates due 2024.
  • Advising Emirates Strategic Investment Group on the establishment of a $1bn sukuk issuance programme and its debut $600m sukuk thereunder.
  • Advised Al Khalij Commercial Bank (the guarantor) on the annual update of its $2.5bn EMTN programme.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has an active capital markets practice, which is led by Haitham Hawashin. In ECM, the firm advises issuers, underwriters and selling shareholders on international and local securities offerings and listings, while, on the debt side, it acts for governments, corporations and investment bank underwriters and dealers on offerings of debt securities, spanning investment-grade bonds, high-yield bonds and sovereign and quasi-sovereign offerings.

Practice head(s):

Haitham Hawashin

Testimonials

They have excellent relationships, especially with the regulators and key decision-makers.

Zubair Mir is one of the most capable lawyers in the region and has built an outstanding practice.

Key clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

EFG-Hermes

Etisalat

Citigroup Inc

SHUAA Capital

Abu Dhabi Financial Group

Arcapita

Deutsche Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

DAMAC Properties

Work highlights

  • Advising the banks on an update and drawdown of a guaranteed EMTN programme by The National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah.
  • Advising Shuaa Capital ion the proposed issue of sukuk Al Ijarah by the Dubai-based real estate developer, The First Group.
  • Assisted Aelsan with its TL2.3bn secondary public offering ($649m or £486m) on Borsa Istanbul.

Hogan Lovells (United Arab Emirates) LLP

Hogan Lovells (United Arab Emirates) LLP's capital markets offering benefits from the firm's Islamic finance expertise. It is particularly active in transactions in Africa and Turkey. Imran Mufti and Rahail Ali and senior associate Ahmet Kalafat are noted.

Practice head(s):

Rahail Ali

Testimonials

Firm provides advice on any issue and responds in a timely manner. They approach cases as a solution partner.

Key clients

Barwa

Citigroup

Al Bayan Group Holding Company

HSBC

IFC (World Bank Group)

Islamic Corporation for Development of the Private Sector (ICD)

Dubai Islamic Bank

Government of Cote d’Ivoire

Samba Capital

Praesidium

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's Ayman Khaleq specialises in structured finance and debt capital markets transactions, with a particular focus on Islamic finance and sukuk offerings. Victoria Mesquita Wlazlo is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Ayman Khaleq

Key clients

American Infrastructure MLP

FWU AG

Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG)

TVM Capital Healthcare Partners

Greenstone Equity Partners

VPS Healthcare

Arden Group