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Friday, September 30, 2022

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PODCAST: Sustainable Sukuk and bonds in the pipeline, says QFC 

The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) launched the QFC Sustainable Sukuk and Bonds Framework in March 2022. The framework is part of the financial center’s efforts to develop Qatar’s debt capital market, which seeks to emulate the success of the Malaysian capital market. ISFI spoke to Aymane Doukali, the head of Islamic and structured finance at QFC, about how the framework will impact sustainable issuances in the region. 

“The country is in one of the most challenging regions from a climate perspective. That continuously puts the region under a microscope when it comes to sustainability and climate. Even though the region is responsible for roughly about 8% of carbon emissions globally, the climate situation is extremely challenging, which has pushed all of the countries in the region to really look at their strategies when it comes to the environment and sustainability from a broader perspective,” Aymane commented on the heightened importance on sustainability in the region. 

“One of the main areas that we are currently looking at is the development of a local debt capital market and one of the building blocks of that exercise is our continuous and ongoing focus on ESG and sustainability,” Aymane shared. 

“When it comes to developing the debt capital markets in Qatar, one of the main areas of focus that we have is how to attract foreign investors. One of the key identified areas is how to develop a proper infrastructure for ESG- or sustainability-labeled instruments,” Aymane shared on what the framework aims to achieve. 

“While we are aiming to develop a local market, we wanted to make sure that we are doing things at the highest standards possible. In our effort to develop the framework, we have worked closely with International Capital Markets Association and we have also collaborated with HSBC Bank to get a bit of support and technical advice from them to develop the framework,” Aymane commented on the development of the framework. 

“From the time that we have issued the framework, we have seen one of the local banks in Qatar develop a sustainable finance framework and they had based it on the QFC’s sustainable Sukuk and bonds framework,” Aymane commented on the impact of the QFC’s framework on Masraf Al Rayan’s Sustainable Finance Framework

While Aymane was not able to share the details of upcoming deals, he shared that there are three or four entities in Qatar that are currently looking to issue green Sukuk or bonds. While the market is currently extremely volatile, we can expect a pipeline of transactions to come out of the country. 

This is an excerpt from an interview with Aymane Doukali, the head of Islamic and structured finance at Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). Listen to the full discussion on the QFC’s Sustainable Sukuk and Bonds Framework on IFN OnAir.  

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