Malaysia’s Axiata issues $500m sukuk for Ncell acquisition

Axiata group logo

Axiata Group Bhd , Malaysia’s largest mobile operator by market value, said on Wednesday that it has successfully priced a 10-year $500 million sukuk, or Islamic bond.

Proceeds from the sukuk would be used for the proposed acquisition of Nepalese phone carrier Ncell Pvt. Ltd., the company said in a statement.

Swedish telecoms operator TeliaSonera AB sold its 60.4 percent stake in Ncell to Axiata for $1.03 billion last year.

Wednesday’s sukuk is the third under Axiata‘s $1.5 billion multi-currency sukuk issuance programme that was set up in 2012.

It was priced at a yield of 4.357 percent with a final order book of over $900 million.

“Charting a new benchmark, we have taken this opportunity to build Axiata‘s curve with a 10-year issuance maturing in 2026, in line with our long-term strategy and growth plans,” said Axiata‘s president & group chief executive officer, Jamaludin Ibrahim.

Axiata will continue to look towards opportunities in the capital markets to strengthen our capital base.”

CIMB, Deutsche Bank and HSBC are joint bookrunners. The sukuk will be listed in Malaysia and Singapore.

The bonds are trading at 243/239 basis points versus the 240 basis points spread over US Treasuries at which they were priced.

Axiata said orders for the sukuk were 71 per cent from Asia, 11 per cent from Europe and 18 per cent from the Middle East.

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Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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