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Trowers & Hamlins advises Omani government on its first-ever sovereign sukuk

Trowers & Hamlins advises Omani government on its first-ever sovereign sukuk

Trowers & Hamlins has advised the Government of the Sultanate of Oman, represented by the Ministry of Finance, on its debut sukuk issuance, valued at OMR250 million (circa USD650 million). The transaction is the first sovereign sukuk issued by Oman.

The sukuk employs an ijara structure (with Government land being the underlying asset) and has a tenor of five years. Application will be made to the Muscat Securities Market for listing and trading of the sukuk in Oman.

This issuance represents a paradigm shift in the development of the Islamic finance industry and capital markets in Oman.  It follows on from another landmark transaction in Oman, which saw Trowers & Hamlins act for Tilal Development Company S.A.O.C. in 2013 on the first corporate sukuk issue in the Sultanate.  In addition, Oman launched Bank Nizwa, its first Islamic bank, in 2012, with advice from Trowers & Hamlins on its formation.

Salman Ahmed, who leads the Islamic finance practice for Trowers & Hamlins in the Middle East, said:  “The firm is proud to continue to advise on significant transactions that are shaping the Islamic finance industry in Oman, including advising on the first-ever sukuk issuance in Oman as well as the establishment of the first Islamic bank in Oman."

The Trowers & Hamlins team of lawyers who advised on the sukuk are based in the firm’s Bahrain, Dubai and Oman offices included partners Salman Ahmed (Bahrain-Islamic Finance and Capital Markets) and Jamie Gibson (Oman-Corporate), senior associates Elias Moubarak (Dubai), Riza Ismail (Oman) (both Islamic Finance and Capital Markets), Adam Abdalla (Oman-Dispute Resolution and Litigation), and associate Iman Allawati (Oman-Corporate).