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Wednesday May 25, 2011

Maybank, CIMB and HSBC may advise on global sukuk sale

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia plans to appoint Maybank Investment Bank Bhd, CIMB Investment Bank Bhd and HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd to advise on a global Islamic sovereign bond to raise more than US$1 bil, two people familiar with the matter said.

Marketing could start as early as next month, said one of the people, who didn't want to be named as the matter is confidential. The Government is said to be arranging a 10-year dollar-denominated Islamic debt, or sukuk, in its second sovereign sale of syariah-compliant debt in a year, four people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on May 20.

The offering would set a longer benchmark for companies raising debt in the US$1 trillion global Islamic finance industry, where issuers tend to favor shorter maturities such as five years or less. The debt would abide by the religion's ban on paying interest.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim declined to comment on the advisers and likely size of the sale and told Bloomberg in an interview that the government would make an announcement “at the right time.” HSBC Amanah chief executive officer Rafe Haneef couldn't immediately be reached for comment when contacted by mobile phone and e-mail.

Malaysia sold US$1.25bil of the five-year dollar-denominated sukuk in May last year at a 180 basis-point premium over US Treasuries.

Sales of ringgit-denominated Islamic bonds rose 51% this year to RM12.4bil (US$4.1bil) from the same period in 2010, Bloomberg data show. - Bloomberg

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