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Islamic finance awards 2013: Madinah Airport expansion PPP

Best Islamic project finance deal
Lead managers:
National Commercial Bank, Saudi British Bank, Arab National Bank, SMBC London

Legal adviser: Norton Rose The $1.2 billion expansion of Madinah Airport was the first full public-private partnership in Saudi Arabia, as well as being one of the largest infrastructure projects in the Middle East in 2012.

For the Tibah consortium sponsors to get the financing under way, a new Islamic structure had to be created by building around the concession contract rather than the physical assets. It used the ijtihad method and is considered a model for further PPP ventures in the region, where it is not possible to own the key infrastructure asset that underpins the transaction. The airport itself will cater for an annual eight million passengers and be ready by 2015.

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