Saturday, September 23, 2023

Pakistan’s financial platform Abhi is the first fintech in MENAP region to issue Sukuk Bond

Pakistan’s financial platform Abhi raised the first-ever Sukuk bond for a fintech in the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan (MENAP) region, the startup announced.

The bond worth Rs2 billion ($7.1 million) potentially opens a new funding line for startups that have struggled to attract funds in recent months.

“The bond issue is a significant milestone for both Abhi and the region, as no other Fintech in the region has successfully achieved this before,” the company said.

“We are honored to have the support of Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) and all the investors to launch this first-of-a-kind Sukuk,” Omair Ansari, CEO and co-founder of Abhi, was quoted as saying in the statement.

“With this new funding, we can help ease the financial burden on struggling companies and provide much-needed relief through working capital financing during these challenging times,” Ansari added.

Abhi is a platform that offers working capital solutions to companies and early access to salaries for registered employees. Within just one year of its launch, the company successfully raised funds at a valuation of $90 million. In December, Abhi expanded its operations to the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, it is currently in the process of acquiring a stake in Universal Network Systems Ltd., a courier company based in Pakistan.

In 2022, Abhi was assigned a long-term instrument rating of ‘AA’ and a short-term rating of ‘A1+’ by PACRA – a first for a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) in Pakistan. These ratings enabled ABHI to issue Islamic bonds.

What is Sukuk Bond?

Sukuk, also called Islamic bonds, are financial instruments used in Islamic finance. Unlike conventional bonds that pay interest, Sukuk represents ownership in an underlying asset or project. Sukuk bonds have gained popularity in Islamic finance as a way to raise capital while adhering to Shariah principles.

Sukuk bond. (Image Credit: Zoya Blog)

Nuxhat Khurshid
Nuxhat Khurshid is a passionate writer, reader and documentary-maker. She mostly writes on environment, climate change and development issues for Islamabad Scene.

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