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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

US1.5b global sukuk boost Malaysia's position

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia's successful pricing of the US$1.5 billion global sukuk has strengthened the country's position as an international centre for Islamic finance, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the 30-year tranche was the government's inaugural sukuk issuance, which is the longest tenured sukuk ever by a sovereign.
"This sukuk also fulfills Malaysia's objective of making the issuance a new benchmark," he said at the Finance Ministry's monthly gathering here on Tuesday.
The issuance comprises US$1 billion of 10-year and US$500 million of 30-year benchmark Trust Certificates (Sukuk) for a total size of US$1.5 billion.
Najib said the deal was oversubscribed, attracting an aggregate interest of US$9.0 billion from a combined investor base of over 450 accounts.
The 10-year tranche was oversubscribed nearly seven times while the  30-year tranche was oversubscribed about six times.
"The success of the transaction shows that international investor sentiment for Malaysia's credit profile is very high and positive," he said.
The premier also said the nation's economy grew robustly in the first quarter of the year despite facing uncertain external challenges like the slump in global commodity prices and depreciation of the ringgit.
He said the Gross Domestic Product grew an encouraging 5.6%, supported by a vibrant domestic economy despite weak external demand.
"In the same period, private investment at current prices rose  13.6% to RM51.5 billion while total foreign direct investment (FDI) net inflows hit RM9.9 billion.
"This economic performance shows improved investor confidence in the country and reflects the effectiveness of the government's management of the nation's economy and finances," he said.
(The Star Online / 19 May 2015)
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