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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Malaysia: DanaInfra sukuk this year may exceed RM6b

Kuala Lumpur: DanaInfra Nasional Bhd is likely to sell at least RM6 billion of Islamic bonds (sukuk) this year to finance the mass rapid transit (MRT) project, with a tranche of about RM1.5 billion expected to be issued every quarter, an official says.

"It could be more than RM6 billion, but this will ultimately depend on (the project handler) MRT Corp's requirements. We think a quarterly issuance is optimal," said chief operating officer Datuk Kamal Mohd Ali, when met by reporters here yesterday.

Up to a fifth of each tranche may be allocated to retail investors if there is demand for it, he added.

DanaInfra, a unit under the Ministry of Finance set up in mid-2010 to help raise financing for the MRT project, launched its first RM1.5 billion tranche last week, setting aside RM300 million for retail investors, with the rest to be taken up by institutional investors.

The retail sukuk, the country's first, is currently being marketed to investors and is expected to be listed on Bursa Malaysia as the first exchange-traded bond and sukuk on February 8.

The profit rate of the retail sukuk will be determined at the close of the book-building exercise for the institutional offering at the end of this month.

According to Kamal, both institutional and retail investors will be offered the same profit rate. 

Last week, DanaInfra announced that the profit rate for retail sukuk would be at least 3.7 per cent a year.

The retail sukuk will be the world's first such issuance, he said.

The first phase of the MRT project, the country's largest infrastructure project, is a 51 kilometre stretch linking Sungai Buloh with Kajang in the Klang Valley and is expected to be completed by 2017.

MRT Corp's chief executive officer Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid said last month that the final cost of the first phase would not exceed RM23 billion.

(Business Times / 16 Jan 2013)

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