A&O, CC advise on first Kuwaiti sukuk

Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy (A&O) have both landed roles on the first Kuwaiti convertible sukuk.

Clifford Chance advised lead arranger Barclays Bank while A&O was instructed by the issuer International Investment Group (IIG) on the $200m (£101.61m) first sharia-compliant convertible bond in Kuwait.

Clifford Chance partner Simon Sinclair, who led on the deal, said: “Aside from the complex Islamic finance element, doing a convertible bond in Kuwait was a challenge. It’s not easy to go to a jurisdiction with an instrument such as this. It takes a lot of work.”

Sinclair added that teaming up the Islamic finance element with the convertible bond aspect of the transaction made the deal challenging and important for capital markets in this region.

He said: “There certainly have been a lot of firsts in the Islamic finance sphere recently. This indicates the fast-paced nature of the area and how important its growth is.”

While the market has seen a number of pre-IPO convertible sukuks, full-life convertible sukuks are more unusual explained A&O lead partner Roger Wedderburn-Day.

Wedderburn-Day said: “This is a novel transaction because there has not been a convertible sukuk in Kuwait before. It was very exciting because we had to lay a lot of the groundwork for the convertible because it is new to Kuwait.”