Islamic Finance | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Islamic Finance
Islamic Finance

Islamic Finance

About

Our Islamic finance specialists have extensive experience in structuring, documenting and negotiating complex transactions and developing innovative Shari'ah-compliant techniques, including in relation to bank finance, regulation, project finance, hedging and swap transactions, funds and other structures including sukuk issuances (both asset-based and asset-backed).

Our team has built up a strong track record not only in Islamic transactions but also are experts in structuring conventional transactions. Having this breadth of experience provides us with the ability to deliver legal and structuring solutions across a wide range of product areas.

Our clients benefit from a team of highly experienced Islamic finance specialists, who not only have up-to-date experience and knowledge, but who also have more than 30 years of combined experience in structuring, documenting and negotiating complex transactions and developing innovative Shari'ah-compliant techniques, including in relation to bank finance, regulation, project and asset finance, hedging and swap transactions, funds and other structures including sukuk issues.

Our knowledge and insights enable clients to successfully navigate the complexities surrounding these structures. We have built excellent relationships with the leading Islamic banks and Shari'ah scholars and other market participants such as rating agencies and investor funds.

Our clients also benefit from our Islamic finance events, seminars and teach-ins and thought leadership publications by receiving free advice, trend predictions, insights around the timing of potential legal and commercial issues that may arise, helpful case studies and real-life examples based on our deal experience that are relevant to their specific legal and commercial concerns.

 

Unique experience with a track record of "firsts"

Our Islamic finance team has worked on some of the largest and most high-profile Islamic finance transactions in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world, including advising on many of the "firsts" in Islamic finance, including:

  • The debut issue and one of largest-ever emerging markets sovereign sukuk issues (establishment of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Reg S/ Rule 144A sukuk programme and debut issuance of US$9 billion across two issued series).
  • The largest-ever corporate sukuk issued out of Kuwait (EQUATE Petrochemical Company K.S.C.C. and the Kuwait Olefins Company K.S.C.C. on the establishment of EQUATE Sukuk SPC Limited 's US$2 billion Trust Certificate Issuance Programme).
  • The largest-ever Saudi Riyal financing of its kind (Saudi Aramco's landmark US$10 billion revolving credit facilities, including two Saudi Riyal murabaha tranches in an aggregate value of US$3 billion).
  • Saudi Aramco's first sukuk Issuance Programme (issuance of up to SAR 37.5 billion (US$10 billion) sukuk, and its debut SAR 11.25 billion (US$3 billion) sukuk issuance thereunder).
  • The largest US$ sukuk offering by a sovereign issuer to date in Asia (Republic of Indonesia).
  • The first international Shari'ah compliant financing for a Russian financial institution (AK BARS Bank)—US$60 million Murabaha facility.
  • The largest US$ denominated sukuk offering to date (State of Qatar).
  • The largest project finance sukuk offering to date and the first greenfield project sukuk (Sadara Basic Services Company).
  • The first US$ denominated sukuk issued by a Japanese corporate (Nomura Holdings Inc.).
  • The first Islamic public-private partnership (PPP) financing in Saudi Arabia (Hajj Terminal)—US$205 million Ijara/Istisna facility.
  • The first sukuk in the Middle East qualifying as bank capital for regulatory purposes (Saudi Hollandi Bank).
  • The first Rule 144A offering by a Saudi Arabian corporate issuer and the first high yield sukuk offering by a GCC issuer (Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Development Company).
  • The first long-term Islamic project financing (Qatargas II)—US$530 million Istisna facility.
  • The largest Islamic project financing (at the time) in Saudi Arabia (Petro-Rabigh Phase 1)—US$600 million Ijara facility.

 

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AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Ranked 1# Legal Advisor – Sukuk & Islamic Financing (issuer adviser)
Ranked 1# Legal Advisor – GCC Sukuk
Bloomberg H1, 2017 League Table

Best Law Firm
EMEA Finance Middle East Banking Awards 2016

MENA Legal Adviser of the Year
IJGlobal 2016

Winner: Energy and Natural Resources Law Award, Saudi Arabia Deal of the Year and Structured Finance Law Award
Islamic Finance News Law Awards 2015

Refinancing Deal of the Year
IJGlobal Middle East Awards 2015

Experience

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Representation of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in connection with its debut 144A/Reg S Sukuk Programme and issuance of US$9 billion Sukuk in equal tranches of US$4.5 billion due 2022 and 2027 respectively.

Investment Corporation of Dubai
Representation of Investment Corporation of Dubai in connection with the US$1 billion issuance of trust certificates by ICD Sukuk Company Limited under its US$2.5 billion trust certificate issuance programme. The trust certificates, which were issued in a single tranche maturing in 2027, were offered pursuant to Regulation S and are listed on the Nasdaq Dubai and on the Irish Stock Exchange, and have a profit rate of five percent per annum.

EQUATE Petrochemical Company K.S.C.C. and the Kuwait Olefins Company K.S.C.C.
Representation of EQUATE Petrochemical Company K.S.C.C. and the Kuwait Olefins Company K.S.C.C. on the establishment of EQUATE Sukuk SPC Limited's US$2 billion Trust Certificate Issuance Programme in December 2016 and the Regulation S offering of US$500 million trust certificates under this Programme. This issuance was the largest-ever corporate Sukuk issued out of Kuwait.

Saudi Aramco
Representation of Saudi Aramco on the establishment of its first sukuk Issuance Programme for the issuance of up to SAR 37.5 billion (US$10 billion) sukuk, and its debut SAR 11.25 billion (US$3 billion) sukuk) issuance thereunder.

Representation of Saudi Aramco on its landmark US$10 billion revolving credit facilities. The facilities are divided into two US dollar conventional tranches (in an aggregate value of US$7 billion) and two Saudi Riyal murabaha tranches (in an aggregate value of US$3 billion). The Sharia compliant murabaha facilities represent the largest ever Saudi Riyal financing of its kind. This deal was recently recognised as "Saudi Arabia Deal of the Year" by Islamic Finance News (2015).

Government of Sharjah Sukuk
Advising the Government of the Emirate of Sharjah on the offering of US$500 million 3.839 percent trust certificates through Sharjah Sukuk (2) Limited. The trust certificates were offered on a Regulation S basis and are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and the Dubai Financial Services Authority's Official List. This was the first sovereign sukuk issuance for 2016 globally.

Al Ghurair Investments
Representation of Al Ghurair Investments in relation to its AED 1.2 billion syndicated Islamic real estate development financing for a Dubai based real estate development.

Manazel Real Estate PJSC
Representation of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank as arranger in connection with syndicated dual tranche ijara facilities totalling AED 887 million made available to Manazel Real Estate PJSC.

International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Representation of IFC in connection with a US$30million Islamic project financing to be provided to Al Safi Danone Company Ltd, Iraq. This transaction was recently recognized as "Hybrid Deal of the Year" by Islamic Finance News (2015).

YASREF
Representation of YASREF and its shareholders, Saudi Arabian Oil Company and China Petrochemical Corporation on its US$4.7 billion syndicated loan facilities. The new loans partially refinance shareholder funds used for the construction of YASREF's grassroots full conversion oil refinery located in Yanbu Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. The financing combined a US$3.1 billion conventional facility and a US$1.6 billion Sharia compliant murabaha facility.

Republic of Indonesia
Representation of the Republic of Indonesia in connection with the Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of US$1.5 billion Sukuk al-Ijara due 2019, under its US$5 billion Sukuk program. The sukuk were listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. This was the largest-ever sukuk issuance by an issuer in Asia and was recently recognized as "Best Sovereign Deal of the Year" at the Finance Asia Achievement Awards (2014).

State of Qatar sukuk
Representation of the State of Qatar (SoQ) on the US$4 billion two-part bond issuance by SoQ sukuk A Q.S.C. This deal has been recognized as "Deal of the Year 2012" by ASIAN-MENA COUNSEL; "Qatar Deal of the Year 2012" by Islamic Finance News; and "Deal of the Year 2012" by EMEA Finance's Achievement Awards (2012).

Sadara Chemical Project
Representation of Saudi Aramco in connection with all project development and project financing aspects of the US$20 billion Sadara Chemical Project, a joint venture with The Dow Chemical Company. The transaction is the largest-ever project financing in the chemicals sector and raised US$12.5 billion from multiple financing sources. We also represented Sadara Basic Services Company on the issuance of US$2 billion in sukuk for the project, the largest-ever offering of sukuk in a project finance context.

EMAL Phase II
Representation of commercial banks in connection with the financing for Phase II of the EMAL project, including conventional and Islamic tranches totalling US$3.4 billion, as well as four ECAs (US Export-Import Bank, Hermes, Coface and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (K-EXIM)) with respect to direct and export credit agency (ECA)-supported tranches totalling US$600 million. This project was recognized as "Middle East Industrial Deal of the Year" at the Project Finance International Awards (2014). We also previously advised the commercial lenders in connection with the initial US$4.7 billion financing of Phase I of the same project.

Zakher Marine International
Representation of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, as sole bookrunner and initial mandated lead arranger, and a group of other lenders on a US$420 million Islamic financing provided to Zakher Marine International Inc. The facility arranged by ADIB, will fund Zakher Marine's new shipbuilding programme that includes 15 vessels and three self-elevating accommodation barges. This deal was recently this named "Structured Finance Deal of the Year" by Islamic Finance News Law Awards (2015).

Gulf Marine Middle East FZE
Representation of the conventional and Islamic Facility Arrangers on a US$620 million financing for Gulf Marine Services. The syndicated Islamic and conventional financing replaced Gulf Marine Service's existing facilities. The facilities have a term of six years and comprise US$375 million term facilities, US$175 million committed capex facilities and US$70 million of general working capital facilities. A further US$300 million uncommitted facility has also been agreed. This deal was recognized as the "Refinancing Deal of the Year" at the IJ Global Middle East Awards (2015).

Emirates Steel Industries Refinancing
Representation of the lenders on the US$1.3 billion refinancing of the Emirates Steel Industries (ESI) project in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The financing was provided by a group of 19 international, regional and UAE commercial banks, split into conventional and Islamic facilities. It was principally applied to refinance the existing US$1.1 billion project financing provided to ESI in 2010 in relation to the expansion financing of its steel production facility in Abu Dhabi. The transaction also allowed Senaat, the UAE's largest industrial conglomerate and Emirates Steel's parent company, to consolidate its steel assets under Emirates Steel. This deal was recognized as "2014 Middle Eastern Mining Deal of the Year" by IJGlobal: Middle East (2015).