Education sector benefits from Dubai’s growth as the capital of the Islamic Economy
Sunny Varkey rings the bell to celebrate listing of GEMS Education Sukuk on NASDAQ Dubai
GEMS Education today celebrated the listing of a 200 million dollar (AED 735 million) Sukuk on NASDAQ Dubai, with founder and Chairman Sunny Varkey ringing the market opening bell at Dubai Financial Market (DFM).
The Sukuk listing by GEMS, which has focused on providing high quality education in the UAE and internationally for over 50 years, demonstrates the growing social and economic benefits provided by Islamic finance solutions in Dubai and adds further impetus to the ‘Dubai, the Capital of the Islamic Economy’ global initiative.
The bell-ringing ceremony took place in the presence of Essa Kazim, Chairman of Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Secretary General of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre; Abdul Wahed Al Fahim, Chairman of NASDAQ Dubai; and Hamed Ali, Chief Executive of NASDAQ Dubai, in addition to representatives of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Credit Suisse, Mashreq Bank and Morgan Stanley.
Dino Varkey, Group Chief Operating Officer at GEMS Education, said: “The funding raised by our Sukuk issuance enables GEMS Education to continue strengthening its commitment to educational excellence, and meeting the needs of Dubai families as the emirate continues to move into the knowledge economy. Our listing on NASDAQ Dubai provides us with resources to build new schools, improve education standards and help Dubai grow into a world-class city with world-class education.
Essa Kazim, Chairman of Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Secretary General of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, said: “GEMS Education’s Sukuk demonstrates the versatility of the Islamic capital markets across different industries. Education has now joined sectors including banking, utilities, transport, property, retail and government, that have listed Sukuk on Dubai’s exchanges over the past year, in line with the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minster and Ruler of Dubai, to position Dubai as the global capital of the Islamic Economy, under the direction of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council.”
The nominal value of Sukuk currently listed in Dubai has now reached 13.28 billion dollars (AED 48.8 billion). More than 50% of that sum, amounting to 6.85 billion dollars (AED 25.2 billion), has come from listings that have taken place since the beginning of 2013, making Dubai the third largest centre for Sukuk listings in the world.
Abdul Wahed Al Fahim, Chairman of NASDAQ Dubai, said: “NASDAQ Dubai will continue to enhance its services for issuers and their investors as it makes further progress towards its goal of becoming the largest exchange in the world for Sukuk, by listed value. We look forward to welcoming Sukuk issuers from around the world as well as our own region, as the asset class continues to grow in international popularity.”
Hamed Ali, Chief Executive of NASDAQ Dubai, said: “As economic momentum in the UAE and the region strengthens, NASDAQ Dubai is in discussion with a growing number of potential issuers who wish to list Sukuk and other Islamic securities that satisfy their capital-raising needs. We are working continually to enhance our platform and admissions framework in order to facilitate the listing process.”
GEMS Education’s hybrid Sukuk listed on NASDAQ Dubai on November 24, 2013