Dubai Financial Services Waives Sustainability Listing Fees on Nasdaq

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has declared a groundbreaking initiative, stating its intention to waive all regulatory fees throughout the year 2024 for issuers seeking to list sustainability-related bonds and sukuks in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).

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Immediate Implementation and COP28 Announcement

Ian Johnston, CEO of the Dubai Financial Services Authority, unveiled this strategic exemption during the COP28 conference. The immediate implementation of the fee waiver underscores the DFSA's commitment to expedite the development of sustainable financial markets, aligning with its initial guidelines on best practices for listing green bonds and sukuks issued in 2018.

Nasdaq Dubai's Ascendance in the Sustainable Sukuk Market

The world's largest market for Sukuk related to governance, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability is now Nasdaq Dubai, following the release of the guidelines. Around 50% of Sukuk in all currencies are listed on the exchange; these Sukuk, which are linked to social, environmental, and governance responsibility, make up over 60% of the total.

Extending Support to Green, Social, and Sustainable Projects

Beyond sustainability, bonds and instruments bearing identifiers pertaining to green, social, climate, climate adaptation, or climate change are exempt from fees. This all-encompassing strategy demonstrates the DFSA's dedication to assisting various funding sources for environmentally friendly initiatives in the Emirates and the surrounding area.

Endorsement of the "Year of Sustainability" and COP Leadership

Ian Johnston, acknowledging the "Year of Sustainability" declared by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the UAE's chairmanship of COP, expressed the DFSA's unwavering commitment. This commitment involves incentivizing companies to issue green bonds and sukuks, thus financing environmentally and climate-sustainable projects.

Inclusive Application Process and Deadline

After the pertinent application is submitted to the DFSA, the fee exemption is applicable to all issuers, new and old. The exemption, which goes into effect right away, will apply to applications submitted through December 31, 2024, providing a window of opportunity for organizations that are dedicated to supporting sustainable finance in the DIFC.

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