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Islamic finance awards 2013: Jebel Ali Free Zone refinancing

Deal of the year
Lead managers:
Citi, Standard Chartered, ADIB, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, NBAD, Samba

This is Euromoney’s deal of the year not just because of the challenge of achieving it, but because of what would have happened had it failed.

Jebel Ali Free Zone covers 55 square kilometres around Dubai’s Jebel Ali port. It’s a vital piece of infrastructure, both in terms of global logistics – it is the biggest container port between Rotterdam and Singapore – and because it is a jewel to Dubai itself, accounting for 21% of overall GDP in 2009, according to PwC. Through various other vehicles, it is ultimately owned, regulated and run by the government of Dubai.

The problem was that a five-year Dh7.5 billion ($2 billion) floating-rate sukuk was due to mature in November 2012, in a market environment quite different to the heady 2007 period when it was launched.

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