Clifford Chance has advised the Republic of Senegal on its inaugural CFA100 billion (approximately $200 million) Sukuk issuance, the first major Sukuk issuance by a sovereign in Africa. The first of its kind deal intends to enable Senegal to attract new funding using Shari'ah-compliant principles.
The Sukuk was structured as an amortising Sukuk al-ijara whereby the Republic of Senegal granted a 99 year usufruct over certain of its assets and agreed to lease them back in return for making rental payments to investors. The transaction was guaranteed by the Republic of Senegal.
Jeddah-based Islamic Corporation for Private Sector Development (member of the Islamic Development Bank Group) and Citi were the arrangers on the deal.
"Clifford Chance is delighted to be involved in this first-of-its-kind Sukuk issuance, an important development for Senegal and for the African continent as a whole. The Sukuk provides the Government of Senegal with access to a more diversified investor base and is likely to encourage a number of other African sovereigns to look more closely at this alternative funding source," said Qudeer Latif, Global Head of Islamic Finance at Clifford Chance.
The Clifford Chance team advising the Republic of Senegal was led by Qudeer Latif (Partner, Global Head of Islamic Finance) and consisted of Mustapha Mourahib (Office Managing Partner, Casablanca), Shauaib Mirza (Senior Associate, Dubai), Ouns Lemseffer (Associate, Casablanca).
Clifford Chance, also led by Qudeer Latif, recently advised on the UK Government's inaugural £200 million Sukuk. Qudeer and other members of the firm also advised on sovereign Sukuk issued by Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and governmental authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in the United Arab Emirates.