Axiata Successfully Prices The World's First Rates RMB SUKUK - Oversubscribed With More Than RMB 3.5 Billion Orders
Kuala Lumpur, 11 September 2012 - Axiata Group Berhad (“Axiata”) has today successfully priced its inaugural issuance of a 2 year RMB1.0 billion sukuk (“Sukuk Issuance”) via its wholly-owned Malaysian incorporated special purpose vehicle, Axiata SPV2 Berhad. The Sukuk Issuance is issued under Axiata's Multi-Currency Sukuk Programme with an aggregate nominal value of up to USD1.5 billion or its equivalent in other currencies (“Sukuk Programme”) established on 17 July 2012.
The Sukuk Issuance has been assigned a rating of BBB- and Baa2, by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services and Moody's Investors Service Inc, respectively, and is structured based on the Shari'a principle of Wakala. Airtime vouchers, representing entitlement to a specified number of airtime minutes on the mobile telecommunications network of subsidiaries of Axiata for on-net calls ("Airtime Vouchers"), will be utilised as the underlying asset under this Sukuk Issuance. The Sukuk is the first RMB denominated Sukuk that utilises 100%airtime vouchers as underlying assets. The Sukuk Issuance may be listed on Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad (Exempt Regime) and the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited.
The Sukuk Issuance was announced earlier today and closed intra-day. The initial price guidance was at 4.00% area, revised to 3.75%-3.85% and finally priced at the tightest end ofthe price guidance at 3.75%. The Sukuk were oversubscribed, attracting strong investor demand, with a final book of over RMB3.5 billion orders, about 7 times of the initial proposedsize, enabling Axiata to upsize the deal from an initial RMB500 million to RMB1.0 billion. This makes the transaction the largest RMB Sukuk offering to date. The inaugural issuance by Axiata attracted interest from a diverse group of investors, comprising asset management companies, financial institutions, insurance companies, mutual funds and private banks. More than 75 accounts participated in the Sukuk Issuance.
Axiata's President & Group Chief Executive Officer, Dato' Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim commented ”We are very pleased with the excellent response. We believe that the strong demand reflects investors' confidence in the execution of the Axiata strategy.”
Axiata's Group Chief Financial Officer James Maclaurin added “The ability to raise RMB denominated funds demonstrates Axiata's ability to diversify away from other more traditional currencies such as the USD and achieve cost efficient funding. The proceeds from the issuance will pare down the group's more expensive debt facilities and is also in line with our balance sheet optimization initiatives”.
This is the second benchmark Sukuk issuance by the Axiata Group in 2012, following the MYR5.0 billion Sukuk Issuance by Axiata's subsidiary, Celcom Transmission Sdn Bhd inAugust 2012, which was the largest MYR Sukuk Murabahah to date. Both Sukuk issuances are in line with the Axiata Group's on-going group-wide initiative to optimise its balance sheet and improve its financial flexibility, whilst also demonstrating Axiata's commitment towards the Government of Malaysia's efforts to establish Malaysia as an International Islamic Financial centre and support of the MIFC agenda.
CIMB Bank (L) Limited, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (“HSBC”) and Merrill Lynch (Singapore) Pte. Ltd are the Joint Lead Managers and Joint Bookrunners for the Sukuk Issuance. Central Shariah Committee of HSBC is the Sole Shariah Adviser.
Axiata is one of the largest Asian telecommunication companies. Axiata has controlling interests in mobile operators in Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodiawith significant strategic stakes in India and Singapore. India represents one of the fastest growing markets in the world. In addition, the Malaysian-grown holding company has a stake in mobile telecommunication operations in Thailand.
The Group's mobile subsidiaries and associates operate under the brand name ‘Celcom' in Malaysia, ‘XL' in Indonesia, ‘Dialog' in Sri Lanka, ‘Robi' in Bangladesh, ‘HELLO' in Cambodia, ‘Idea' in India and ‘M1' in Singapore.
The Group's, including its subsidiaries and associates, has over 210 million mobile subscribers in Asia. The Group revenue for 2011 was USD5.4 billion. The Group provides employment to over 20,000 people across Asia. Axiata's vision is to be a regional champion by 2015 by piecing together the best throughout the region in connectivity, technology and talent, uniting them towards a single goal: Advancing Asia.
Axiata was awarded the Frost & Sullivan 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Asia Pacific ICT Award for Best Telecom Group and the Telecom Asia Best Regional Mobile Group 2010 and 2011 for its operations in multiple Asian markets.
This Announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in the United States or any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
The Sukuk have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), the securities laws of any state of the U.S. or other jurisdiction and may not be offered, sold, pledged or otherwise transferred within the U.S., except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state or local securities law.