Malaysia's Axiata gets nod to issue $1.5 bln Islamic bonds

KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:11pm IST

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 (Reuters) - Malaysian telco Axiata Group said on Thursday it won regulatory approval for its proposed issuance of up to $1.5 billion worth of Islamic bonds to fund general corporate needs.

Axiata said the fund raising, which comes in the form of non-fixed tenure multi-currency sukuk programme, allows airtime vouchers on Axiata's mobile telecommunications network to be included as a trust asset.

"Whilst Axiata has no immediate funding requirements, having the programme in place will enable the group to remain nimble and able to move quickly in the event of any changes and demands of the marketplace," Axiata's Group Chief Financial Officer James Maclaurin said in a statement.

The sukuk programme has been assigned a rating of BBB- by Standard & Poor's. Moody's Investors published the issuer rating for Axiata at Baa2.

CIMB and HSBC have been appointed as the joint principal advisers, arrangers and dealers for the sukuk programme. Merrill Lynch also acted as arranger and dealer.

The counter ended the day 0.17 percent lower at 5.99 ringgit per share, underperforming the broader index's 0.02 percent drop. (Reporting By Yantoultra Ngui; Editing By Niluksi Koswanage)

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