Clifford Chance Guides Sharjah’s $750M Sustainable Bond Issue 

Global law firm Clifford Chance has provided legal counsel to the Government of the Emirate of Sharjah in a significant milestone: the issuance of $750 million sustainable bonds. The Government, represented by the Sharjah Finance Department, launched this bond under its Global Medium Term Note Programme. 

The issuance comprises $750 million 6.125% Sustainable Notes due 2036, issued under Rule 144A and Regulation S of the U.S. Securities Act, 1933. The bonds, with a 12-year tenure, were issued at a price of 99.089, resulting in a reoffer yield of 6.234%. This offering witnessed substantial demand from both local and international investors, showcasing the increasing appetite for sustainable investment avenues and affirming the Government’s strong credibility. 

The transaction, with an order book of approximately $4 billion, experienced a price tightening from the initial guidance of 235bps over US Treasuries to a final pricing of 195bps over US Treasuries. 

Proceeds from the issuance will be allocated towards financing and/or refinancing eligible projects and/or expenditures as per the Government’s Sustainable Financing Framework. Aligned with industry guidelines such as the 2021 editions of the Green Bond Principles, the ICMA Social Bond Principles, and the ICMA Sustainability Bond Guidelines, the Sustainable Financing Framework ensures adherence to sustainable investment practices. 

Commenting on behalf of the Sharjah Finance Department, Tom Koczwara, an Adviser in the Debt Management Office, stated: “This is another important milestone in the Government of Sharjah’s efforts to maintain broad market access. The sustainable bond issuance reflects the importance of environmental and social initiatives in Sharjah, and the increasing appetite from investors to understand the positive outcomes achieved with their funds. The market response highlights the Government’s success in responding to investor demand and presenting a clear and credible credit narrative for the Emirate of Sharjah.” 

The Clifford Chance team was led by partner and Head of Middle East Capital Markets, Stuart Ure, supported by associate Benedetta Tola. London-based partner, Michael Dakin (pictured), supported by Terrence Moloney and Sarah Wetzel, provided U.S. securities advice. 

Stuart Ure commented: “With the growing demand by investors globally for financing linked to environmental, social and governance factors, we are delighted to have supported the Sharjah Finance Department and the Emirate of Sharjah on another landmark issuance of sustainable bonds by a GCC sovereign. The success of the transaction is testament to the consistent investor engagement by the Sharjah Finance Department.” 

The Joint Lead Managers and Bookrunners were Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Bank of Sharjah, Citigroup Global Markets Limited, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Emirates NBD Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. HSBC Bank plc and Emirates NBD Bank acted as Global Coordinators and HSBC Bank acted as sole ESG structuring agent.