Ashraf Ihab

Founding Partner, Head of Banking and Finance group and Deputy Chair of the Executive Committee

A leading legal figure with more than 40 years of diversified experience, he had a profound understanding of financial tools and their practice in the Egyptian and international markets and he is always abreast of the legal developments in banking and project finance field.

Before cofounding Zulficar and Partners, Ashraf was a senior partner, member of the executive committee and head of contracts and advisory group at Shalakany Law Office.

Ashraf is specialized in banking and project finance transactions, his breadth of expertise enables him to successfully structure and close high profile and complex financing transactions. He drafted, negotiated and executed a long-line of sophisticated syndications, club and multilateral transactions, credit facility agreements, debt rescheduling agreements and related security documents. His expertise also extended to different financial activities such as, ISDA transactions, T-bonds, derivatives, asset financing, real estate financing, factoring, consumer finance, microfinance, incorporation and licensing of financial institution. Moreover, Ashraf assisted major banks in the preparation of banking standard forms as well as Islamic finance agreements, he opines on regulatory matters, financial litigations and dispute settlement.

In addition to his credentials in banking and project finance field, Ashraf developed an expansive experience in capital /debt capital market field, he acts as the legal advisor of numerous successful transactions like issuance of public and private bonds, green bonds, securitization bonds, sukuk issuance (Ijara/ sustainable musharaka), transfer of business, private and public offerings, IPOs and companies restructuring.

Along with structuring, drafting and closing a long-line of high profile and complex financing transactions to major banks like National Bank of Egypt, Arab African International Bank, Commercial International Bank (Egypt), Banque Misr, Arab Banking Corporation, Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Arab Bank, Arab Investment Bank and other banks, Ashraf’s list of credentials includes groundbreaking, award winning and precedent transactions such as but not limited to:

  • The IFLR1000 award winning “Best Structured Finance Deal of the Year in North Africa”, Canal Sugar Company, SAE (CSC) multi-tranches Syndicated Facility Agreement for up to US$ 700,000,000″;
  • Issuance of the First Future Securitization Bonds Program in the Egyptian Market. The Program amounts to EGP 2,000,000,000 (two billion Egyptian pounds), and the first issuance under the Program is amounting to EGP 800,000,000 (eight hundred million Egyptian pounds) in three (3) tranches. This issuance is an exceptional achievement, as it is the first application of the rules issued by the Financial Regulatory Authority for this type of bonds, and is a benchmark for all similar issuances in the future Cairo Investment for Real Estate Development SAE (CIRA);
  • The first issuance of a Green Bonds issued by a private sector in Egypt amounting to US$ 100,000,000. The proceeds of the issuance will be directed to finance environmental projects that will use clean energy and mitigate the factors that lead to global warming in a number of existing green projects, including green buildings, renewable energy and energy efficiency within the bank’s lending portfolio by Commercial International Bank – Egypt (CIB);
  • The first private placement to qualified investors of the first short-term bonds issuance Programme executed under FRA decree No. 172 of 2018 amounting to EGP 2,000,000,000 by EFG-Hermes for Brokerages (HSB);
  • Issuance of Ijara Financial Sukuk compatible with the provisions of Islamic Shariaa to be tradeable on the EGX amounting to EGP 600,000,000 by Cairo Investment for Real Estate Development SAE (CIRA);
  • Issuance of securitization short term bonds program amounting to EGP 5,000,000,000 (five billion Egyptian pounds) with a tenor of two (2) years, with a No. of 3 – 4 expected issuances throughout the aforementioned tenor by B-Tech for Trading and Distribution (B-Tech);

Since the early 90’s, under the Egyptian government’s privatization program, Ashraf was involved in the privatization of several Egyptian public sector companies. Representing sellers or buyers, he handled numerous merger and acquisition transactions for private sector companies in Egypt, conducting legal due diligence and carrying out all the required procedures for the transfer of shares before the Capital Market Authority, as well as drafting shareholders’ agreements and sale of shares agreements.

Ashraf was a Board Member in the Egyptian Industrial Development Bank, Cairo, Egypt from 2000 to 2005.

Ashraf was appointed as the General Counsel of Mashreq Bank, Dubai – UAE from 2005 to 2006.

With a commitment and believe in community activism, Ashraf providing legal courses at the Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport (AASTMT).

Since 2015, Ashraf has been consistently ranked by international legal directories like IFLR1000, Legal 500, Chamber and Partners and other directories, quoted from the testimonials written on him: “The leading and eminent Egyptian lawyer in banking and finance”, “A leading lawyer highly recommended in banking and project finance field”, “A well versed in the challenges of representing prominent financial institutions, he assists with all aspects of syndicated loan and credit facility agreements, and has a notable specialism in microfinance”.

Ashraf has obtained his BSC in Law from Cairo University in 1985, and he is a member of the Egyptian Bar Association and International Bar Association since 1985.

Ashraf working languages are Arabic and English.

Listing and Awards:

Legal 500 Leading Individual

IFLR1000 2022

Chambers Global 2022

Ashraf Ihab – Chambers & Partners

Ashraf Ihab and Chambers & Patners

Ashraf Ihab & Chambers Partners

Ashraf Ihab is a leading lawyer in the IFLR1000

Zulficar Partners has recommended lawyers in The LEGAL 500

Contact Details:
Dir: +20(2) 24612-150
Asst.: +20(2) 24612171