Malaysia’s first sukuk in five years overwhelmed, asserts status as world’s biggest market

Malaysia’s first global sukuk issuance since 2016 has been an overwhelming success, with the US$1.3 billion offering oversubscribed by 6.4 times. The offering, which is the world’s first sovereign US dollar sustainability sukuk, reflected strong appetite for Malaysian debt and asserted the country’s status as a global leader in Islamic finance, economists said. The government initially targeted a size of US$1 billion but due to overwhelming demand, the sukuk was upsized to US$1.3 billion, the Finance Ministry (MoF) said in a statement. The issuance comprised a US$800 million 10-year Trust Certificates and a US$500 million 30-year Trust Certificates. The MoF said the sukuk was unique as its underlying assets were sustainable assets, being vouchers representing travel entitlement on Malaysia’s Light Rail Transit, Mass Rapid Transit and KL Monorail networks. As the first sovereign issuance with such assets in a sukuk structure, the issuance sets a new benchmark and showcases Malaysia’s global leadership in Islamic finance, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said. This reinforced the country’s position as the world’s largest sukuk market, he added. (NST Online)

Mah Sing to begin glove production in May

Mah Sing Group Bhd has completed the testing and commissioning of its first two glove production lines in its first glove factory in Kapar, Klang, and is expected to start operation in May 2021. The group anticipates the first shipment of gloves to be delivered in May and June. The glove manufacturing venture is part of Mah Sing’s plan to strengthen and expand its manufacturing division by venturing into the export-oriented, resilient healthcare sector. This will complement the group’s existing property division as the property market is cyclical and focus more on the domestic market. Looking ahead, the group aims to be one of the top five glove producers in Malaysia in the future. It will also be exploring listing of its manufacturing/healthcare division separately to better unlock value for Mah Sing shareholders,” Mah Sing founder and group managing director Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said. (The Sun Daily)

Mah Sing Healthcare glove production
(Source: The Sun Daily)

Nancy Shukri: Malaysia in midst of identifying travel bubbles with other nations

Malaysia is in the midst of identifying travel bubbles, apart from Singapore, as it waits for countries to open up borders amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Tourism, Arts and Culture minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said like Malaysia, many other countries were still not opening up their borders to travellers. As for the Sabah-Singapore travel bubble plans, she said it was still at the planning stage. On this, State Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin said Singapore has agreed to discuss the possibility further. He said parties including tour agents, who wish to explore travel bubbles apart from Singapore, could apply and propose the idea to the ministry. Promotional activities in terms of tour packages still need to go on, so that preparations are made with SOPs put in place to prepare for the opening-up of the tour industry on a bigger scale when the time comes. Nancy also said that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is pushing for niche tourism products and would continue to propose them until the Federal Government approves. (The Star)

Kwasa Land inks agreement with YTL to develop RM200m GDV project at Kwasa Damansara

The Employees Provident Fund’s wholly-owned Kwasa Land has inked an agreement with YTL Corp Bhd to develop a residential project in Kwasa Damansara with an estimated GDV of RM200 million. The 12.7-acre development has been identified as plot R2-1 at Kwasa Damansara, and will entail the construction of 1.5-storey townhouses and three-storey landed terrace houses, alongside a 1.28-acre central park and 2.71-acre linear park. Kwasa Land managing director Mohamad Hafiz Kassim said YTL was selected following a robust process where it showed its ability, solid track record and desire to deliver residential offerings with exceptional quality — in line with the demand of current homebuyers. “We look forward to working hand-in-hand with YTL to launch the development by year-end,” he said. Meanwhile, YTL Construction executive director Yeoh Keong Yuan said YTL is excited to be part of a green, inclusive and connected township that represents Klang Valley’s last significant greenfield site with the development of future-forward residential offerings. (The Edge)

2020 one of the warmest years on record – World Meteorological Organisation

The year 2020 has been ‘stormy’ for most people around the world. Extreme weather combined with the COVID-19 pandemic delivered a double blow to the global population. Unlike what many have been led to believe, pandemic-related economic slowdown did not halt climate change drivers. Last year was one of the three warmest years on record despite a cooling La Niña event. Global average temperature was about 1.2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) level, while the six years since 2015 have been the warmest ever recorded. The years 2011 through 2020 were the warmest decade on record. It is therefore unsurprising that it affected socio-economic development, migration and displacement, food security, and land and marine ecosystems worldwide. The report also documented indicators of the climate system, including greenhouse gas concentrations, increasing land and ocean temperatures, rising sea-level, melting ice and glacier retreat and extreme weather. “The pandemic also disrupted weather observations and complicated disaster risk reduction efforts,” it said. (The Edge)