Firm Participates in Leading Capital Markets Industry Conference in the GCC

Reports predict global sukuk issuance will rise to US$250 billion by 2020; Latham launches Sukuk Handbook.

June 08, 2015

Latham & Watkins co-sponsored the 2015 Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Middle East conference on 2-3 June, 2015 which was held at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. One of the largest conferences in the Middle East, the event was attended by more than 900 senior-level executives from the region’s leading banks, corporates, government entities, credit rating agencies and institutional investors.

The conference included lively panel discussions, in-depth case studies and presentations which covered the latest trends in banking and capital markets in the region.

Latham & Watkins also launched its “Sukuk Handbook: A Guide to Structuring Sukuk.” The guide outlines the various sukuk structures and their suitability with respect to an issuer’s assets and is intended to help investors and issuers navigate the Islamic finance market. 

The publication is timely with the growth of the sukuk market. A recent Thomson Reuters report predicts the value of sukuk issuances will rise to US$250 billion by 2020. The sukuk market is proving to be a significant source of capital for many corporate, sovereign and government-related entities in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa — entities which issued US$116.4 billion worth of global sukuk in 2014. 

Commenting on the launch of the Sukuk Handbook, Harj Rai, Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Finance Department in the Middle East, said: “The credit crunch in the US and Europe, coupled with the ongoing Eurozone crisis, has resulted in more companies turning to the increasingly liquid sukuk market. We anticipate that sukuk will increasingly attract the world’s largest and most active institutional investors in the US, Europe and Asia, offering a means to invest in strong emerging market companies. We expect to see more sukuk issuances from multi-national corporations, especially those with significant operations in leading Islamic finance markets.” Rai and Latham associate Lee Irvine discuss the future of sukuk in a Q&A interview

Craig Nethercott, Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Islamic Finance Practice, moderated a panel discussion at the conference on financing energy and infrastructure in an environment of low oil prices and higher interest rates. He was joined by senior executives from Mubadala, First Gulf Bank, SMBC Nikko and ACWA Power with the panel discussing where funds will come from to drive energy and infrastructure development in this period of volatility. 

Nomaan Raja, Chair of Latham & Watkins Corporate Department in the Middle East, participated in a panel which covered the latest developments in the convertible bonds market.

Nethercott said: “This event is unlike any other in the market for its size and the substance of the discussions and presentations. It brings together leading practitioners from business, finance and legal with policymakers and government officials to discuss some of the critical issues and key developments impacting the capital markets in the GCC. It is the preeminent event in the Middle East finance calendar and provides a constructive forum for industry leaders to discuss the real issues in the market.” 

The conference was organized by Global Financial Conferences and co-sponsored by Latham & Watkins, First Gulf Bank, NBAD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, HSBC and Noor Bank. 

About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is a global law firm with approximately 2,100 lawyers in its offices located in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, including: Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, Doha, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New Jersey, New York, Orange County, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, San Diego, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information on Latham & Watkins, please visit the website at

Notes to Editors

Latham & Watkins operates as a limited liability partnership worldwide with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in the United Kingdom, France and Italy and affiliated partnerships conducting the practice in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Latham & Watkins practices in Saudi Arabia in association with the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi. 


Craig Nethercott, Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Islamic Finance Practice +971.4.704.6352
Harj Rai, Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Finance Department in the Middle East +971.4.704.6319
Nomaan Raja, Chair of Latham & Watkins Corporate Department in the Middle East +971.4.704.6341 

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