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Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Malaysia: MDV New Rm1.5 Billion Fund For ICT & Biotech Raised Via Islamic Medium-Term Notes Program

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd (MDV), a wholly-owned unit of Minister of Finance Inc, today launched its RM1.5 billion Second Fund, of which RM1 billion will be for information and communication technology (ICT) and the rest for biotechnology.

Managing director/chief executive officer, Md Zubir Ansori Yahaya, said the second fund would be sourced domestically and raised via a RM1.5 billion Islamic Medium-Term Notes programme.

"This is a 15-year programme and we are dividing it into two issuances. The first is for RM500 million, which we have already got the money last month," he told reporters after the launch of the fund here today.

The launch was witnessed by Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Kong Cho Ha, who represented Second Finance Minister, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop. Also present was CIMB Group's chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak.

CIMB Investment Bank Bhd is the lead arranger and syariah adviser. Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd and RHB Investment Bank Bhd are the joint lead-managers.

Md Zubir said the average cost of fund was 4.9 percent.

He, however, declined to disclose if the same cost would be applicable for the remaining fund.

He said MDV expected the first tranche to be used up by September 2009.

"MDV has not seen much reduction in our list despite the global slowdown. I think with the credit crunch, more and more customers are expected to come to MDV for loans as we offer flexibility in the loans applications and payments," he said.

Md Zubir said the issuance of the rest of the RM1 billion would depend on the demand and market conditions.

"The latest fund will be an alternative to the existing conventional financing -- syariah-compliant financing programme. "The fund will be used to create new and suitable Islamic products and services to add variety and choice for our customers. It is expected to enhance MDV's revenue channels and flow," he said.

On the default rate, he said, there were companies which faced difficulties to repay their loans.

"As a whole our portfolio is very healthy. The non-performing loan is at 10 percent," he said.

He hoped that a total of RM900 million worth of loans would be approved, of which RM700 million would be disbursed by end-March 2009 to between 40 and 50 companies.

"About 14 companies are those involved in biotechnology," he said.

Md Zubir said part of the money would be from the newly-launched fund.

"To-date, MDV has disbursed RM300 million worth of loans," he said.

MDV was initially entrusted to manage the revolving RM1.6 billion fund sourced from the Japanese government through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation for ICT projects.

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