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 His Excellency Mohammed Abdulla Al Gergawi, Chairman of The Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Chairman of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre; Essa Kazim, Chairman of Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Secretary General of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre; Abdul Wahed Al Fahim, Chairman of NASDAQ Dubai; and Hamed Ali, Chief Executive of NASDAQ Dubai.
His Excellency Mohammed Abdulla Al Gergawi, Chairman of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre said: “The successful issuance and listing of GEMS Education’s Sukuk is further evidence that Dubai is moving rapidly towards achieving the vision 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 initiative to build Dubai into the Global Sukuk Centre will form an increasingly important component of this vision as more companies and organisations choose to raise capital through Islamic financing.”
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.”
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.
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 and we are working continually to further broaden the appeal of the exchanges as economic momentum in the UAE and the region strengthens.
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.”
GEMS Education’s hybrid Sukuk listed on NASDAQ Dubai on November 24, 2013.