The Business Times

Planned RM1b AirAsia sukuk to open market to more investors

Published Tue, Nov 4, 2014 · 09:50 PM

Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIA is leading global sales of perpetual sukuk as a planned offer by Asia's biggest budget airline brings Islamic finance to a broader range of investors.

AirAsia will set up a RM1 billion (S$386 million) programme to sell Syariah-compliant notes with no set maturity, according to an Oct 30 stock exchange filing. The company is the fourth issuer since national carrier Malaysian Airline System's debut in 2012 and so far, US$998 million has been raised in the nation, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The securities appeal to investors who are willing to take on a greater degree of risk in exchange for a higher yield, according to RAM Rating Services, the bigger of Malaysia's two credit assessors. Perpetual Islamic bonds are treated as equity rather than debt on a company's balance sheet, enabling firms to raise funds without affecting their creditworthiness.

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