Region's first: Dubai's DIFC-based GRIP to raise $10mln via digital securities

The issuance is the first major globally compliant digital securities offering in MEASA

  
DIFC continues to accelerate growth in first half of2020. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

DIFC continues to accelerate growth in first half of2020. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

GRIP, Dubai's DIFC-based investment banking and wealth management firm, will commence raising $10 million for a Japanese client on July 27, 2020, through the issuance of digital securities representing investor shares.

GRIP is leading the capital raise for Lead Real Estate, a Tokyo headquartered residential and commercial developer. “Each Digital Security will be made available for the subscription of professional / accredited investors and will enable ownership of Preferred equity in a tax efficient manner," V Gowribalan, CEO of GRIP told Zawya, part of Refinitiv.

The issuance is the first major globally compliant digital securities offering in MEASA, marking a key milestone for DIFC and Dubai. GRIP is also on course to establish a private securities marketplace within the Centre - a first for the region, according to a statement from DIFC.  

“This is a direct issuance of shares as digital securities, unlike other similar offerings which have used legally vague structures such as SAFTs, a true convergence of classic share issuance leveraging technology to simplify the process,” Gowribalan said.

“In contrast to most global offerings of Digital Securities, which have been predominantly start-ups or early stage entities, this issuer is a matured entity with an established track record and tax paying entity from Japan," he added.

Lead Real Estate was established in 2003 and has executed more than 500 projects. It mainly develops and sells single apartment buildings, luxury homes, hotels, office buildings.

Some of its projects are being developed to leverage on the opportunities arising out of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the DIFC statement said.

While Lead Real Estate is the first Japanese Real Estate Developer to conduct a Digital Securities based capital raise, GRIP will be the first entity from the DIFC to structure, manage and distribute a global capital raise utilising Digital Securities as a medium of issuance, the CEO told Zawya, part of Refinitiv.

GRIP has structured, coordinated and made the issuance possible, supported by a collaborative effort by reputed lawyers, service providers, technology providers and regulated firms from across the world, including UAE, the US, Japan, Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands, Gowribalan said.

Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, said: "Innovation like this will propel economic development in the region and illustrates how DIFC is driving the future of finance.” 

(Reporting by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)

(seban.scaria@refinitiv.com)

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