KUWAIT: Watani Investment Company K.S.C.C (“NBK Capital”) acted as the only Kuwait-based Joint Lead Manager amongst regional and global Lead Managers on Warba’s landmark 5-year $500 million Senior Unsecured Sukuk issuance under the Bank’s $2 billion Trust Certificate Issuance Program, the first of its kind by a Kuwaiti Bank. Warba’s Sukuk issuance will serve as an important precedent for other Islamic issuers out of Kuwait and its success should encourage other Banks and Corporates to consider the Sukuk market as a legitimate alternative to meet their funding needs.
Warba Bank is the fastest growing Kuwaiti Bank in terms of Assets and Deposits, and maintains a “A+” credit rating from Fitch and a “Baa2” credit rating from Moody’s.
Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas and Emirates NBD acted as Global Coordinators, while NBK Capital, Bank ABC, Qatar National Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas and Emirates NBD acted as Joint Lead Managers. The issuance was well received by both regional and international investors, while the global order book peaked at $3.15 billion, which translates to an oversubscription of 6.3x. The allocation of the Sukuk were distributed amongst MENA-based investors (66 percent), Asian investors (28 percent) and European and US offshore investors (6 percent). The issue will be listed on Euronext Dublin (the Irish Stock Exchange) and Nasdaq Dubai.
The pricing of the Sukuk was determined through a competitive bookbuilding process, where the Sukuk were issued at par (100 percent) and profit rate of 2.982 percent, equal to a 135 basis point spread over the 5-year US mid-swap rate.
Faisal Al-Hamad, NBK Capital’s Chief Executive Officer, stated: “We are proud to have advised Warba Bank on this unprecedented global issuance. The significant demand for the issuance is a testament to investors’ confidence in Warba Bank and appetite for Sharia-compliant Kuwaiti issuances in general.
Rani Selwanes, NBK Capital’s Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking, added: “The overwhelming demand from Kuwaiti investors reflects the importance of their participation in supporting global issuances and illustrates NBK Capital’s ability to execute global Sharia-compliant transactions”.