Petronas said to choose banks to sell up to US$7b of sukuk

[KUALA LUMPUR] Petroliam Nasional Bhd picked three banks to sell as much as $7 billion of dollar-denominated Islamic bonds in what may become the Malaysian state oil company's biggest such sale to date, said people familiar with the plan.

Petronas is working with Bank of America Corp., CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. and Deutsche Bank AG to lead the offering, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details are confidential.

The last time Petronas sold dollar notes was in 2009, when it issued $3 billion of bonds payable in 10 years. Fitch Ratings gives Petronas an A rating, one level higher than Malaysia's A- grade with a negative outlook.

"Petronas is the only state-owned oil and gas company rated by Fitch that still has a rating higher than the sovereign's," Sajal Kishore, an analyst at Fitch, said by phone on Wednesday. "The main thing that could impact their rating at this stage is a downgrade of the sovereign."


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