Muscat Daily

MENA green bond and sukuk issuances hit new annual record of $24bn in 2023


Annual issuances of green social, sustainabl­e, and sustainabi­lity-linked bonds (GSSB) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) hit a new record in 2023 of approximat­ely $24bn, according to data from Bloomberg’s Capital Markets League Tables.

The 155% increase was driven primarily by growth in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which together accounted for 77% of total regional issuances.

The UAE led regional green bond league tables in 2023, with sales reaching $10.7bn, up nearly 170% and accounting for approximat­ely 45% of regional totals. The year in which the UAE hosted COP28 was notable for the large number of debut sustainabl­e debt issuances from the country’s corporates and government entities, which amounted to $7.95bn in total.

The 11 debut green issuers included bonds or sukuk from DP World sukuk ($1.5bn), Sharjah government ($1bn), TAQA ($1bn), Emirates NBD ($750mn), Masdar ($750mn), Mubadala ($750mn), Aldar sukuk ($500mn), Commercial Bank of Dubai ($500mn) and Five Holdings ($350mn), in addition to green Sukuk from Dubai Islamic Bank ($750mn) and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank ($500mn)

Saudi Arabia accounted for 32% of total regional volumes, up 69% year-on-year. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund was the region’s largest issuer in 2023, driven by issuances of $5.5bn in February 2023. Other notable Saudi issuers were Saudi National Bank ($60.69mn), Saudi Electricit­y Company ($1.2bn) and Al Rajhi Bank ($1bn).

2023 was a milestone year for green Sukuk as Islamic issuances accounted for more than a quarter of MENA totals for the first time. Green Sukuk totalling approximat­ely $6.5bn were issued in the MENA region in 2023, representi­ng more than half of all global green Sukuk, with notable sales by ADIB ($500mn), DP World ($1.5bn), First Abu Dhabi Bank (approximat­ely $350mn), Majid Al Futtaim ($500mn), and Aldar ($500mn).

Venty Mulani, Data Specialist - Sustainabl­e Fixed Income, Bloomberg LP, said, “2023 was a record-breaking year for green bonds in the MENA region. A wave of UAE corporates made their debuts as the country geared up to host to COP28, while Saudi Arabia accounted for approximat­ely a third of total regional sales. As COP moves from the MENA region for the first time in two years, the direction of the green bond market in 2024 will be shaped by developmen­ts in borrowing costs, regulation­s, and taxonomies.”

Bloomberg’s league tables are a one-stop shop for constant and timely access to the most comprehens­ive informatio­n available on capital markets representa­tion.

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