Islamic finance awards 2008: Deal of the year
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Islamic finance awards 2008: Deal of the year

An RMBS clinching the best deal category for the year of the sub-prime crisis might appear at first to be a little ironic.

Tamweel Residential ABS

But Islamic asset-backed transactions up to now have barely dripped compared with the torrent of paper that has flowed from the west. So UAE Islamic housing financier Tamweel’s issuing Shariah-compliant secured notes worth $210 million undoubtedly constituted an important landmark. "You could say it was the first real securitization in the Middle East," says Sandeep Chaudhry, chief executive of Emirates National Securitization Corporation (Ensec).

"We all heard the thousands of reasons why we couldn’t get the deal done"
Sandeep Chaudhry, Ensec

Sandeep Chaudhry, Ensec

The $177 million class A tranche was rated Aa2 by Moody’s, and AA by Fitch. As such, the deal was both the first ever Shariah-compliant tranched securitization and the first ever internationally rated securitization to be issued in the Gulf. "We all heard at the beginning the thousands of reasons why we couldn’t get the deal done. But the result was something that looks identical to a developed-market product – not held together by plasters and tape," says Chaudhry.

As Tamweel’s CFO acknowledged to Euromoney last summer, achieving those accolades was not without complications and delays.

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