BLOOMBERG BUSINESS WEEK: HSBC Holdings Plc is overtaking CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. as the top underwriter of Islamic bonds as sales from the Gulf pick up and corporate issuance from Malaysia, the biggest market for the debt, declines.
HSBC, Europe’s biggest lender by market value, arranged $1.6 billion of global sukuk so far in 2010, about 25 percent of the total, led by Saudi Electricity Co.’s issuance in May, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. CIMB Group, Malaysia’s second-largest banking group, led $1.4 billion of sales of debt that complies with the religion’s ban on interest. Last year, CIMB was the top underwriter, managing $4.4 billion of offerings.
“The origin of the issuer may have an impact on the decision to hire which underwriter,” Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin, chief economist at Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd., the country’s oldest Shariah-compliant bank, said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. “If the issuance amount is huge, issuers may have some level of comfort with a foreign bank.”
Sales of Malaysian ringgit-denominated sukuk slumped 44 percent to 9.4 billion ringgit ($2.9 billion) so far this year as companies delayed infrastructure projects after the economy slipped into recession in 2009. The government began a 230 billion ringgit, five-year development plan on June 10, which may revive offerings of Islamic bonds, according to Malaysian rating company RAM Holdings Bhd. >>> Soraya Permatasari and Khalid Qayum | Wednesday, June 30, 2010