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Sunday, 19 October 2008

Malaysia toll-road firm to sell Islamic bonds

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 (Reuters) - A Malaysian toll road firm will sell 745 million ringgit ($211.6 million) of Islamic bonds, the deal's arranger said on Friday, marking one of the few debt issues not scuttled by the global credit crunch.

Projek Lintasan Shah Alam will sign a deal on Tuesday to issue the bonds, RHB said, without providing further details on the sale. Projek Lintasan was not immediately available for comment.

The Islamic bond, or sukuk, sale comes at a time when conventional debt markets worldwide are paralysed by a credit squeeze and mounting fears of a global recession.

Islamic bonds, which are backed by assets such as palm oil or real estate, have weathered the crisis better than conventional debt markets, although some sukuk issuers have delayed sale plans.

The Indonesian government said on Friday it would probably delay its first global Islamic bond issue due to market turmoil, and Kuwait's Abyaar Real Estate Development Co has said it would postpone a $1 billion sukuk sale. Malaysia has the world's largest Islamic bond market, with $66 billion or 62.6 percent of global outstanding sukuk issuance as at end-June.

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