KUWAIT: Warba Bank, the best investment bank in Kuwait as well as the best corporate advisory, achieved international success in its maiden sukuk issuance exercise - the issuance of USD 250.0 million Tier 1 Mudaraba Capital Certificates. A one week marketing campaign succeeded in attracting investor interest worth approximately $1.3 billion from Kuwait, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and London attaining an oversubscription of more than 5 times the sukuk issuance size.  The bank's CEO, Shaheen Hamad Al-Ghanem, said that Warba Bank's success in attracting such diverse and deep investor interest reflected the confidence of the investment community in the bank's performance and its future as crafted in its 2017-2021 Strategic Plan.

The callable $250.0 million perpetual sukuk was issued at a coupon rate of 6.50% with the first call date set for 14 March 2017. Al-Ghanem indicated that the success of the bank in covering the underwriting of the sukuk which aims at consolidating the bank's base capital through the first tier of the capital, represents an indication of the local and international investors' trust in the bank's future, based on the successes Warba has realized over the past few years; the bank has been able to establish an advanced concept of Islamic industry and reinforced its investment measures since its inception.

Al-Ghanem also announced, "We see in the success of Warba Bank in marketing its sukuk a great achievement, not only for the bank, but as well to the Islamic monetary exchange sector. It constitutes an assurance of the sound investment environment and context of Kuwait, which represents attractive factors for international investors through providing new venues and opportunities for investments that meet their aspirations and wishes". He added, "Warba Bank has within a short period of time been able to leave its fingerprints and impact through its local, regional and global investments in addition to providing arrangements for financing of big companies and institutions locally and internationally."

Al-Ghanem confirmed that the high traffic in underwriting in Warba Bank sukukis a tangible proof that they consist a good opportunity for beneficial investment; he also assured that the sukuk will be posted in the Irish stock market and Nasdaq Dubai. Al-Ghanem further confirmed that, in view of the bank's achievements during the past six years and the gratifying growth rate it managed in both the assets or deposits, coupled with the gains made, Warba is stepping steadily towards achieving a leading position in the Islamic banking sector.

Al Ghanem also explained that the bank has entered into agreement with a leading international consultancy company to put together a new strategy for the bank until 2021. This new strategy is based on paving the way for Warba to be the Islamic champion bank in Kuwait for corporate and investment banking as well as digital first retail business by boosting its digital infrastructure capabilities; the strategy focuses on consolidating the bank's operations in the sectors of corporate and investment while expanding in the local market by means of services and products that target individuals and corporate in an appealing distinctive way. Warba new strategy is tailor-made to consolidate the bank's market share amongst other Islamic banks in the local market, in particular, and in the banking sector in general; that is in addition to maintaining a solid financial position that secures and protects its shareholders.

Al-Ghanem concluded that Warba Bank will continue during the year 2017 to design new creative Islamic financing solutions, catering to the need of the corporate and investment sector in Kuwait. It is worth mentioning that Warba Bank has earlier obtained the approval of Kuwait Central Bank and the CMA, which authorized the bank's board of directors to issue sukuk and other financing tools in line with the rules and regulations that meet the Islamic Sharia and in accordance with the Islamic banks' standards concerning capital (Basel III with full conformity with the laws and ministerial orders relevant to the matter subject to approval of supervisory and monitoring authority).