UAE

Apparel Group signs pioneering ESG-linked term finance deal with Emirates Islamic and Emirates NBD – ZAWYA

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Dubai, UAE: Apparel Group, a leading fashion and retail conglomerate with a robust global presence, headquartered in the UAE, announced the signing of ESG-linked term facilities with Emirates Islamic, a leading Islamic financial institution in the UAE and Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Türkiye) region.

The financing deal between Apparel Group, Emirates Islamic and Emirates NBD remains aligned to their shared strategic focus on advancing sustainability, simultaneously tackling significant Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors in the fashion and retail industry. The innovative initiative also sets a new benchmark for the fashion and retail industry in the UAE, showing that financial prosperity and sustainability can go hand in hand.


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The two banks partnered with Apparel Group to embed key performance indicators, aligned with the company’s sustainability strategy within its financing structure. The incentives structured in the term facility agreement are strategically concluded to synergise with Apparel Group’s sustainability performance objectives, thereby reflecting the company’s dedication to the UAE’s long-term environmental goals. This approach benefits Apparel Group and its stakeholders and contributes positively to the planet. Overall, the financing acts as a pioneering model for players in the retail and fashion industries seeking to make a positive impact on the environment and society, directly aligning with the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.

Farid Al Mulla, CEO of Emirates Islamic, said: “Allocation of capital towards UAE-based businesses that are focused on sustainability is crucial in expediting the nation’s green transition through responsible governance. Islamic finance inherently aligns with such values and principles. Emirates Islamic remains committed to fostering its sustainability journeys and those of its customers, and stakeholders. Our pioneering ESG-linked finance programme with Apparel Group sets a precedent that other companies and banks can emulate to positively influence environmental and societal well-being.”

Ahmed Al Qassim, Group Head of Wholesale Banking at Emirates NBD, said: “As Principal Banking Partner of COP28, Emirates NBD is committed to pioneering innovative financial solutions that incentivise and empower companies to embrace more sustainable practices. This ESG-linked financing agreement with Apparel Group is a prime example of how we are enabling businesses to align their growth with sustainable objectives. By embedding our customers’ sustainability KPIs into our financing solutions, we are not only enabling their sustainable growth but also fostering a greener economy. This partnership with Apparel Group is a contribution towards UAE’s ambition of achieving its Net Zero 2050 goal.”

Neeraj Teckchandani, CEO of Apparel Group, said: “As we mark this significant milestone with Emirates NBD and Emirates Islamic, Apparel Group further strengthens its strategic commitment to sustainable development, echoing the UAE’s vision for a greener economy. Our ESG-linked financing agreement is more than a financial endeavour; it’s a mutual pledge towards long-term environmental stewardship, social prosperity, and exemplary governance. The synergy with Emirates NBD Group on our high standards and strategic goals fortifies the foundation of this partnership, and we are excited about the role this collaboration will play to advance our sustainability agenda and contribute to the UAE’s progressive leadership in responsible business.”

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About Apparel Group LLC

Apparel Group is a global fashion and lifestyle retail conglomerate residing at the crossroads of the modern economy – Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Today, Apparel Group caters to thousands of eager shoppers through its 2100+ retail stores and 85+ brands on all platforms while employing over 20,000+ multicultural staff.

Apparel Group has carved its strong presence in the GCC and expanded thriving gateways to market in India, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Egypt.

Additionally, clear strategies are in place to enter emerging markets such as Hungary and Philippines.

Apparel Group has created an omni-channel experience, operating brands originating from the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The brands include leading names in fashion, footwear, and lifestyles such as Tommy Hilfiger, Charles & Keith, Skechers, Aldo, Nine West, Aeropostale, Jamie’s Italian, Tim Hortons, Cold Stone Creamery, Inglot, and Rituals.

Apparel Group owes its amazing growth to the vision and guidance of its dynamic Founder and Chairwoman, Mrs. Sima Ganwani Ved, who has taken the company from strength to strength since its inception in the last two decades.

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About Emirates Islamic:

Emirates Islamic (DFM: EIB), part of Emirates NBD Group, is a leading Islamic financial institution in the UAE. Established in 2004 as Emirates Islamic Bank, the bank has established itself as a major player in the highly competitive financial services sector in the UAE. 

Emirates Islamic offers a comprehensive range of Shari’ah-compliant products and services across the Personal, Business and Corporate banking spectrum with a network of 42 branches and 211 ATMs/CDMs across the UAE. In the fast-growing area of online and mobile banking, the bank is an innovator, being the first Islamic bank in the UAE to launch a mobile banking app and offer Apple Pay, as well as being the first Islamic bank in the world to launch Chat Banking services for customers via WhatsApp. 

Emirates Islamic has consistently received local and international awards, in recognition of its strong record of performance and innovation in banking. In 2023, Emirates Islamic was awarded the ‘Most Innovative Sukuk’ award at The Banker Islamic Banking Awards for its AED 1 billion dirham-denominated sukuk, the first such dirham sukuk issuance by a UAE bank. The bank also won ‘Best Islamic Real Estate Deal’ at the prestigious Euromoney Islamic Finance Awards 2023 for facilitating a real estate financing deal for a leading Dubai-based conglomerate.

As part of its commitment to the UAE community, the Emirates Islamic Charity Fund provides financial aid to those in need, with a focus on food, shelter, health, education and social welfare contributions.

For further information please visit www.emiratesislamic.ae 

Or please contact:
Amina Al Zarooni
Media Relations Manager, Emirates Islamic
Email: [email protected]

Danaisha Gulabani
asda’a bcw; Dubai, UAE
Email: [email protected]

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