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Gems Education marks listing of $200m sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai

January 28, 2014

The group is a leading global provider of quality education. Gems Education, a leading global provider of education, celebrated the listing of a $200 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 Essa Kazim , Chairman of DFM and Secretary-General of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre ; Abdul Wahed Al Fahim , Chairman of Nasdaq Dubai; and Hamed Ali , Chief Executive of Nasdaq Dubai, in addition to representatives of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank , Credit Suisse , Mashreq bank and Morgan Stanley . Dino Varkey , group chief operating officer at Gems Education, said the funding raised by sukuk issuance would enable 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 in November provided us with resources to build new schools, improve education standards and help Dubai grow into a world-class city with world-class education," said Dino. Gems Education group, the world's largest kindergarten to grade 12 education provider, educates 142,000 students from over 150 nationalities across four continents and employs over 11,000 education professionals, specialists and staff from over 80 countries. Essa Kazim said Gems Education's sukuk demonstrated 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, in line with the initiative." The nominal value of sukuk currently listed in Dubai has now reached $13.28 billion . More than 50 per cent of that sum, amounting to $6.85 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. Abdul Wahed said Nasdaq Dubai would 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." As economic momentum in the UAE and the region strengthens, Nasdaq Dubai is in discussion with a growing number of potential issuers who wish to list Sukuk and other Islamic securities that satisfy their capital-raising needs, said Hamed Ali said. "We are working continually to enhance our platform and admissions framework in order to facilitate the listing process."

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Source: Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)

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