Chinese property developer Country Garden Holdings Company Ltd plans to issue up to MYR1.5 billion ($340 million) of medium-term Islamic bonds, or sukuk, through its Malaysian subsidiary, to finance the latter’s present and future investments.
The issuer, Country Garden Real Estate Sdn Bhd, plans to commence marketing of the first tranche of medium term notes (MTN) to qualified investors. The MTN will not be offered to the general public and will not be listed on any securities exchange, Country Garden said in a stock exchange filing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
“The mode of issuance, size and coupon rate of the proposed issue will be determined prior to distribution, and is subject to market conditions and investors’ interest,” the company said, in the statement.
CIMB Investment Bank Berhad was appointed as the lead arranger and lead manager for the MTN Programme.
Country Garden Real Estate is wholly owned by its China-based parent. The unit has developments in Iskandar Malaysia, in the southern state of Johor, as well as in Selangor.
Sukuk, as an alternative funding source, has become increasingly popular among mainland companies. In April, Qatar International Islamic Bank QSC and QNB Capital LLC had signed an agreement with China-based Southwest Securities Co. to develop Shariah-compliant finance products in the nation.
China is also exploring Islamic finance for projects from hospitals to metro stations, according to London-based Dome Advisory Ltd., which is working with a government-owned fund in Shanghai to finance five projects, according to a report from Bloomberg.
In another instance, HNA Group could be the first firm from China to issue its own sukuk, with Shariah Advisory Group advising the conglomerate on a $150 million deal to buy ships. HNA also plans an offshore issue of sukuk, Reuters reported.
Hong Kong issued its first sukuk in September last year, a $1-billion five-year Islamic bond, issued by government-owned special purpose vehicle Hong Kong Sukuk 2014.