Asar plays key role in Equate's debut sukuk programme
KUWAIT, March 12, 2017
Al Ruwayeh & Partners (Asar), one of the most prominent corporate law firms in Kuwait, said it has played a major role in the Equate Group's inaugural $2-billion Trust Certificate (sukuk) issuance programme besides its $500 million sukuk issuance.
Equate Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equate Petrochemical, an international joint venture with key shareholders including Petrochemical Industries Company, The Dow Chemical Company, Boubyan Petrochemical Company and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company.
For the sukuk programme, Asar acted as Kuwait law counsel to Citigroup Global Markets Limited, HSBC Bank, JP Morgan Securities, KFH Capital Investment Company, MUFG Securities EMEA, Mizuho International, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, SMBC Nikko Capital Markets, Watani Investment Company (NBK Capital) (collectively, the Managers).
The Trust Certificates (Sukuk) have an Ijarah and Murabahah structure. The seven-year senior unsecured Sukuk were priced competitively at 100 per cent of the issue price with a profit rate of 175 basis points over the 7 year mid-swap rate, returning a yield-to-maturity of 3.944 per cent.
The Sukuk issuance (which was over-subscribed by a factor of 7.4 and with a global order book exceeding $3.7 billion) was well received by global investors (both Islamic and conventional) The issuance proceeds will be used to refinance Equate Group’s existing debt.
Rob Little, the counsel at Asar, said: "We are delighted to have been involved with both of the inaugural conventional and Sukuk issuances of the Equate Group. ASAR has a long and established history of acting as Kuwait law counsel in high quality debt capital market transactions, and both of the recent issuances of the Equate Group is no exception."
"We have previously noted that while global and GCC markets remain under some pressure, we believe that similar transactions are key to the overall stability of steady economic growth. We are particularly proud in having successfully represented the Managers in both issuances of the Equate Group," he noted.
John Cunha, partner at Asar, said: "We are delighted to have acted on behalf of the managers in both of the inaugural conventional and sukuk issuances of the Equate Group. Both of these issuances are a testament to the strength and depth of local and regional financial capital markets in a challenging environment."
"The successful conclusion of both of these issuances is the result of the hard work of the Equate Group and the managers," he added.
With dedicated offices in Kuwait and Bahrain coupled with its associated offices and relationships, Asar provides clients across an extensive range of industry sectors with comprehensive legal advice and support for their business activities in Kuwait, Bahrain, across the GCC and beyond.-TradeArabia News Service