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Clifford Chance advises the Sultanate of Oman on its largest sukuk issuance

5 June 2017

Clifford Chance advises the Sultanate of Oman on its largest sukuk issuance

International law firm Clifford Chance has advised the Government of the Sultanate of Oman on its return to the international debt capital markets with the establishment of an unlimited sukuk-al-ijara trust certificate issuance programme and a drawdown of US$2 billion trust certificates due 2024 thereunder.

The transaction settled on 1 June 2017 and marks the largest ever sukuk issuance by the Sultanate. The proceeds from the debt-raising enable the Sultanate to meet a significant portion of its expected funding needs for this year. The sukuk was offered and sold in reliance on Rule 144A and Regulation S and was admitted to trading on the Irish Stock Exchange.

This issuance follows the US$5 billion triple tranche offering (US$1 billion 3.875% notes due 2022, US$2 billion 5.375% notes due 2027 and US$2 billion 6.5% notes due 2047) issued by the Sultanate in March as well as a total of US$4.5 billion bond and sukuk offerings by the Sultanate issued in 2016, which Clifford Chance also advised on.

Stuart Ure, partner at Clifford Chance, commented: "The establishment of the trust certificate issuance programme provides the Sultanate with the flexibility to access the capital markets quickly and efficiently. We were delighted to partner with the Ministry of Finance once again to deliver a successful transaction for all parties."

The Clifford Chance team was led on English law matters through its UAE offices by partner Stuart Ure, supported by senior associate Rafé Khokhar and trainee solicitor Fizel Nejabat, and on US law matters through its Paris offices by US partner Alex Bafi, supported by US senior associate Olivier Plessis and US associate Ryan Bosch. Al Busaidy Mansoor Jamal & Co (AMJ) advised the Sultanate as Omani law counsel.

The sukuk issuance was coordinated by a lead manager group comprised of Alizz Islamic Bank SAOG, Citigroup Global Markets Limited, Dubai Islamic Bank P.J.S.C., Gulf International Bank B.S.C., HSBC Bank PLC, J.P. Morgan Securities PLC and Standard Chartered Bank.