SACE, Italy’s export credit agency (ECA), announced on Tuesday that it is partnering with the UAE-based IFFCO Group in the company’s first Islamic Facility to support the Italian food and beverage value chain.

The support is provided under SACE’s ‘Push Strategy’ programme, according to a SACE statement.

IFFCO Group manufactures and markets a range of mass-market food products, related derivatives, intermediates, and services with 95 facilities in 50 countries.

For the first time globally, SACE has guaranteed financing with an Islamic finance structure (Commodity Murabaha) in favour of the IFFCO Group with HSBC as the sole participant.

SACE's facilitation aims to maximize business opportunities for companies in the Italian agri-food system, representing a key component of national interest, while ensuring new export opportunities for the entire supply chain involved.

Michal Ron, Chief International Officer of SACE underlined that the support extended to IFFCO is the first Push Strategy operation structured according to Islamic Finance principles. He said this will enable the opening of new markets in the Middle East and other geographies, with a positive impact on Italian exports.

Ram Ramanathan – Group Director and Group CFO IFFCO said a “global first” Islamic structure under SACE push program exemplifies the partnership, ingenuity, and commitment of IFFCO, SACE and HSBC.”

Samir Nayak – Director – Group Treasury IFFCO noted that the partners designed a financial structure working around complex parameters to synchronise ECA clauses to fit into an Islamic structure to deliver an innovative solution versus conventional offering.”

Alexei Rybakov, HSBC’s Head of Export Finance MENAT, added that the transaction marks a further development in Shariah compliant structures, and will accelerate trade and investment between Europe and the Middle East.

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(Editing by Anoop Menon) (

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