x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Taqa looks to Malaysia for financing options

The Wires: Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, set up a 3.5 billion Malaysian ringgit ($1.1 billion) sukuk program as the state-controlled utility known as Taqa diversifies its financing options.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, set up a 3.5 billion Malaysian ringgit ($1.1 bn) sukuk program as the state-controlled utility known as Taqa diversifies its financing options.

"The program will allow Taqa to issue quickly if and when the market conditions are optimal," the company said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi bourse today. The sale will be Taqa's first ringgit sale, according to Bloomberg data.

Malaysia, the world's largest market for Islamic bonds, has eased foreign ownership rules and encouraged new Shariah- compliant products to attract investors. Tamweel PJSC, the Dubai-based mortgage lender, plans to raise at least $300 million to $500m from sukuk sale this quarter denominated either in Malaysian ringgit or dollars, acting Chief Executive Officer Varun Sood said last week.

Global sales of sukuk, which pay asset returns to comply with Islam's ban on interest, climbed to $17.6 bn in 2011, compared with $11.8 billion in the same period last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corp. sold 1.35bn ringgit of Islamic bonds in two issues this year, while National Bank of Abu Dhabi sold two bonds totaling 1bn ringgit last year.

Taqa, which owns stakes in oil, gas and power assets in the Middle East, North America, the North Sea and India, plans to invest $2bn every year through 2013 and has no need to refinance until October 2012, Chief Financial Officer Stephen Kersley said in August. The company's second-quarter profit climbed to Dh 435 m ($118m) from Dh171 million a year earlier as sales increased 38 per cent.

Taqa has Dh72.3bn in outstanding debt, including a Dh5.51 bn facility maturing next year, according to Bloomberg data.

*Bloomberg / Shaji Mathew and Dana El Baltaji