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Saturday, 7 September 2013

India debuts Syariah-based investment firm Cheraman seeks 20b rupees in 2 years to fund infrastructure

KUALA LUMPUR] India has started its first Syariah- compliant investment company, seeking to tap Islamic wealth to fund a US$1 trillion infrastructure spending plan even as the rupee plunges.
Cheraman Financial Services Ltd, which began operations in July, is seeking to raise more than 20 billion rupees (S$377 million) over two years, managing director Mohammed Hanish said in a Sept 2 interview. The firm, based in Kochi in south-western Kerala state, is seeking capital from India, the Middle East and South-east Asia that could be used to finance the government's five-year development programme, he said.
The initiative will be a game changer for new institutions and foreign investment at a time when the economy faces challenges, including a record current account deficit, according to Ernst & Young LLP. India has resisted introducing Islamic banking laws since at least 2008 amid opposition from the country's majority Hindu population.
"Islamic finance can be a quick-win solution to address part of the challenges India faces today," Ashar Nazim, Bahrain-based partner at Ernst & Young, said in a Sept 3 interview. "The risk, on the other hand, of a failed experiment is it will hurt the credibility of the industry big time in India and push it back another 5-10 years."

(Bt Premium / 06 Sept 2013)

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Telekom Malaysia’s (TM) proposed RM3bil Sukuk gets favourable RAM ratings

KUALA LUMPUR: RAM Ratings has given the AAA/Stable/P1 ratings to Telekom Malaysia’s (TM) proposed Sukuk Wakalah Programmes with a nominal value of up to RM3bil.
According to RAM, a plus factor in its assessment was the high likelihood of “extraordinary government support” for TM, given the Malaysian Government’s 68.6% share in the group, ownership of a special rights redeemable preference share and 33% representation on the board.
It said TM’s ratings were also anchored by its dominant position in the domestic fixed-line telephony sector, as well as its strong position in the fixed-broadband market with 89% of subscriber base.
“The group’s ratings are also supported by its healthy financial profile, which is characterised by stable earnings, a steady cash flow-generating ability and moderate balance sheet.
TM’s proposed Sukuk will comprise the Islamic Commercial Papers Programme (commencing in 2013 and maturing in 2020) and the Islamic Medium-Term Notes Programme (2013/2033).
(The Star Online / 06 Sept 2013)

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