UAE dominates regional green bond league tables with $10.7 billion in sales

UAE's COP28 year saw $7.95 billion in debut sustainable debt issuances
UAE dominates regional green bond league tables with $10.7 billion in sales
UAE green bond sales accounted for about 45 percent of regional totals

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) took the lead in the regional green bond standings, witnessing sales of around $10.7 billion, a significant rise of nearly 170 percent. This accounted for approximately 45 percent of the total green bond sales in the region, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

Read more: UAE ministry of finance plans to issue bonds, sukuk valued at $1.29 billion in Q1 2024

Record surge in MENA

According to data from Bloomberg’s Capital Markets League Tables, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) saw a remarkable surge in annual issuances of green social, sustainable, and sustainability-linked bonds (GSSB) in 2023. The total reached a new record of $24 billion, marking a substantial increase of 155 percent.

This surge in green bond issuances was primarily fueled by the growth observed in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which jointly contributed to 77 percent of the total regional issuances.

COP28 impact on sustainable debt issuances growth

The year 2023 was particularly notable for the UAE as it hosted the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). During this time, numerous debut sustainable debt issuances were made by corporate entities and government organizations in the UAE, amounting to a total of $7.95 billion.

Among the notable debut green issuers were DP World Sukuk ($1.5 billion), Sharjah government ($1 billion), TAQA ($1 billion), Emirates NBD ($750 million), Masdar ($750 million), Mubadala ($750 million), Aldar Sukuk ($500 million), Commercial Bank of Dubai ($500 million), Five Holdings ($350 million), in addition to green Sukuk from Dubai Islamic Bank ($750 million) and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank ($500 million).

Milestone year for green sukuk

The year 2023 marked a significant milestone for green Sukuk, with Islamic issuances comprising more than a quarter of the total in the MENA region for the first time.

Additionally, the MENA region witnessed the issuance of approximately $6.5 billion worth of green Sukuk in 2023, accounting for over half of all global green Sukuk. Notable sales were made by ADIB ($500 million), DP World ($1.5 billion), First Abu Dhabi Bank (approximately $350 million), Majid Al Futtaim ($500 million), and Aldar ($500 million).

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