June 15 2015
Noor Bank Closes AED 1.2 Billion Islamic Syndicated Facility
for Stanford Marine Group
Dubai-UAE: 15 June, 2015 – Noor Bank, one of UAE’s fastest growing Shari’a compliant banks, has successfully closed AED 1.2 Billion Islamic Syndicated Structured Finance Facility for offshore vessel operator Stanford Asia Holding Company (“Stanford”), a subsidiary of Stanford Marine Group (SMG).
Besides being Initial Mandated Lead Arranger, Noor Bank PJSC also acted as the Sole Underwriter and Sole Bookrunner for the Murabaha structured Shari’a compliant syndication. The facility will be used to consolidate Stanford Marine Group’s existing conventional and Islamic facilities into a single tranche facility. The deal will support SMG’s efforts to reduce its overall cost of finance and contribute to the group’s profitability and cash flows.
This deal is one of the largest Islamic syndicated facilities executed for any private sector entity in the UAE during 2015. The transaction not only received an overwhelming response from local and regional banks but was also oversubscribed on the back of the strong credit profile of the SMG group. Other participating banks in the deal were Barwa Bank, First Gulf Bank PJSC and Qatar Islamic Bank which acted as Mandated Lead Arrangers while Ajman Bank PJSC and United Arab Bank PJSC joined the deal as Lead Arrangers. Noor Bank PJSC also acted as Investment and Security Agent for the deal.
Speaking about the syndicated financing, CEO of Noor Bank Hussain Al Qemzi said: “Having successfully closed over USD 15 Billion Shari’a compliant mandates across Europe, Far East, CIS and GCC in the last 12 months alone, Noor Bank has once again reinforced its leadership position in the Islamic syndications and capital markets through successfully underwriting and lead managing this landmark structured finance deal for Stanford Marine Group. We anticipate 2015 to be another successful year for the Noor and we will continue to raise the bar for Islamic industry participants through providing innovative Shari’a compliant Islamic capital market solutions for our clients.
Mr. Elias Nassif, CEO of Stanford Marine Group, said, “We are delighted that Noor Bank has been successful in arranging the financing for the SMG group, the purpose of which was to consolidate existing debt. We appreciate the efforts extended by Noor Bank’s relationship and syndication team to close the transaction in record time and are also thankful for the confidence extended by the participating financiers in the syndicate.”
A signing ceremony was held for the deal yesterday and was attended by Dr Ahmed Aljanahi, Deputy CEO, Noor Bank, Elias Nassif, CEO of SMG and Huda Ali Redha Al Lawati, Partner and Chief Investment Officer for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region of The Abraaj Group and senior representatives from the participating banks.
Dr Ahmed Aljanahi, Deputy CEO, Noor Bank, commented, “We would like to thank The Abraaj Group for entrusting Noor Bank with the opportunity to be the Sole Underwriter and Bookrunner for this landmark transaction for its portfolio company SMG. We would also like to thank our partner banks, who have worked closely with us to ensure the closure of this transaction. The deal is a validation of credentials in this area, and is testament to our superior origination, established structuring and proven distribution capabilities. The successful execution of such a deal in record time establishes our leading role in providing comprehensive wholesale banking solutions for the clients and reinforces Noor’s commitment to be a key player in the market.”