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Wednesday September 12, 2012

Axiata successfully prices world’s first rated yuan sukuk

PETALING JAYA: Axiata Group Bhd has priced its inaugural issuance of a two-year one billion yuan sukuk issued via its wholly-owned Malaysian incorporated special-purpose vehicle (SPV), Axiata SPV2 Bhd.

The sukuk is issued under Axiata’s Multi-Currency Sukuk Programme with an aggregate nominal value of up to US$1.5bil or its equivalent in other currencies established on July 17.

The issuance had been assigned a rating of BBB- and Baa2 by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and Moody’s Investors Service Inc, respectively, and was structured based on the syariah principle of wakala, the company said in a statement.

Airtime vouchers, representing entitlement to a specified number of airtime minutes on the mobile telecommunications network of subsidiaries of Axiata for on-net calls, will be utilised as the underlying asset under this sukuk issuance.

The sukuk is the first yuan-denominated sukuk that utilises 100% airtime vouchers as underlying assets and may be listed on Bursa Malaysia (Exempt Regime) and Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd.

The initial price guidance was at 4% area, revised to 3.75%-3.85% and finally priced at the tightest end of the price guidance at 3.75%.

The sukuk was oversubscribed, attracting strong investor demand with a final book orders of over 3.5 billion yuan, about seven times the initial proposed size. This has enabled Axiata to upsize the deal from an initial 500 million yuan to one billion yuan.

This makes the transaction the largest yuan-sukuk offering to date.

It is also the second benchmark sukuk issuance by the Axiata Group this year, following the RM5bil sukuk issuance by Axiata’s subsidiary, Celcom Transmission Sdn Bhd, last month which was the largest ringgit sukuk murabahah to date.

CIMB Bank (L) Ltd, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp Ltd (HSBC) and Merrill Lynch (S) Pte Ltd are the joint lead managers and joint bookrunners for the sukuk issuance.

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