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Monday January 14, 2013

Aye for Sime’s US$1.5b sukuk


It is the first Asian conglomerate to establish a syariah-compliant multi-currency plan

<B>Keeping ahead:</B> Sime plans to focus on maintaining its leadership or aim to achieve leadership positions in all of its core businesses Keeping ahead: Sime plans to focus on maintaining its leadership or aim to achieve leadership positions in all of its core businesses

KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Bhd, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sime Darby Global Bhd, has received approval from the Securities Commission for its proposed US$1.5bil multi-currency sukuk issuance programme.

This sukuk programme is a significant landmark it is Asia's first internationally rated multi-currency sukuk programme by an Asian corporate under the syariah principle of Ijarah, according to Sime .

Sime has been assigned corporate ratings of A, A and A3 by Standard & Poor's Rating Services (S&P), Fitch Ratings Ltd (Fitch) and Moody's Investor Service, Inc (Moody's).

These are higher or at par with Malaysia's sovereign rating of A-/A-/A3 by S&P, Fitch and Moody's respectively.

The ratings are a reflection of Sime 's position as one of the world's largest plantation player, its diversified business portfolio, size and scale, track record, and robust financial profile.

Bakke says Sime supports the Government’s ongoing initiatives and efforts to position Malaysia as an international Islamic financial centre. Bakke says Sime supports the Government’s ongoing initiatives and efforts to position Malaysia as an international Islamic financial centre.

Sime president and group chief executive Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh said: “Sime, as the leading multinational conglomerate in Malaysia, is proud to be the first Asian conglomerate to establish this inaugural multi-currency sukuk programme.

“This represents Sime's continuing commitment to support the Government's ongoing initiatives and efforts to position Malaysia as an international Islamic financial centre,” he said in a statement.

The sukuk programme provides Sime with the financial agility to meet its funding requirements moving forward as it expands its business portfolio globally.

In addition to being a multi-currency programme, the structure will allow Sime to tap a wider pool of investors, both conventional and Islamic, from Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Citigroup Global Markets Ltd, HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd, Maybank Investment Bank Bhd and Standard Chartered Bank are the joint lead arrangers for the sukuk programme.

Sime is a diversified multi-national conglomerate operating in over 20 countries, with its headquarters based in Malaysia.

The six core divisions of the group are plantations, property, industrial equipment, motors, energy and utilities and healthcare.

The group is also one of the largest companies listed on Bursa Malaysia with a market capitalisation of RM57.6bil as at Jan 9, 2013.

For the financial year ended June 30, 2012, the group had a revenue of RM47.6bil and recorded a profit before interest and tax of RM5.9bil.

To position the group as an international conglomerate with a portfolio of successful businesses, Sime has plans to focus on maintaining its leadership or aim to achieve leadership positions in all of its core businesses.

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