Malaysia’s strategic location in the heart of Southeast Asia (SEA) makes it well placed to serve as a gateway between the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. Pursuant to the establishment of ASEAN which sought to coordinate Economic, Political-Security and Social Cultural growth amongst its members, the relationship between Malaysia and the other respective ASEAN members became important as a catalyst to Malaysia’s economy and in shaping its foreign investment policy.
With regional free trade agreements through the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, Malaysia continues to prioritise ASEAN free trade and the lowering of costs of doing business to position the country as a preferred cost-competitive investment location within SEA.
To facilitate investments from SEA and the rest of the world, various governmental agencies such as the Malaysian Investment Development Authority, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation and the Economic Planning Unit have been established by the Malaysian Government to make available various industry-specific incentives and exceptions to potential investors.
In recognising the significance of investment and business ventures opportunities across ASEAN, we have dedicated a SEA Desk consisting of a team of lawyers with necessary language skills, cultural knowledge, industry know-how and legal experience to focus on liaising with the above governmental agencies, advising on any legal issues relating to applicable regulatory frameworks, guidelines and policies and providing effective legal services to all ASEAN based clients.
SEA Desk Experience
Our SEA Desk team works well with Southeast Asia law firms, have advised a wide range of clients across ASEAN countries and been involved in many cross-border transactions, a brief description of which is as follows:-
Our firm advised on the sale and development of luxury residence suites located in the Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur which included advising/negotiating with buyers from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia on the legal aspects and sales documentation, and advised a Malaysian PLC on its joint venture with a Thai partner on the development of a real estate project in Bangkok.
Our firm has, inter alia, advised on aircraft lease transactions as the lessee’s counsel for the lease of cargo aircraft to be operated in Indonesia, advised on the availability of aviation spare parts to an aircraft operator in 3 South East Asian countries and advised an international bank in relation to guarantees issued by Malaysian companies in connection with the financing and leasing of a number of ATR aircraft of an Indonesian airline.
Debt Capital Markets
Our banking and finance team has advised on many significant cross-border transactions such as the issuance of Thai Baht bonds in Thailand by a Malaysian PLC guaranteed by Credit Guarantee & Investment Facility, a trust fund of the Asian Development Bank, the first Malaysian PLC to issue Thai currency denominated bonds in the Thai capital market.
Sukuk & Islamic Finance
Our firm regularly advises Islamic financial institutions on cross-border securities offerings and matters of due diligence, regulatory compliance and corporate governance in relation to the institutions themselves. We have also advised on, inter alia, many of Malaysia’s ASEAN Green SRI Sukuk issuances, including an issuance which conformed with the Malaysia’s SRI Sukuk Framework, the ASEAN Green Bonds Standards and the Green Bonds Principles respectively.
Corporate & Commercial
Our firm advised on the USD10.6 billion divestment of a hypermarket/convenience store business in Thailand and Malaysia, reported as the biggest in Thailand’s history and in Southeast Asia in 2020, the USD2.13 billion acquisition of a multinational oil and gas company’s oil and gas assets in Malaysia, the largest oil and gas merger and acquisition in Malaysia for 2019 and the largest in SEA for the 5 years preceding 2019, and the USD7 billion investment in a refinery and petrochemical integrated development project in Malaysia, the biggest merger and acquisition transaction in SEA for 2017.
Energy, Infrastructure & Construction
We have advised on various regional infrastructure projects in Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Laos, inclusive of power generation, district cooling plants, oil and gas, railways, water treatment plants, cement plants, roads and manufacturing industries. This experience covers the development and negotiation of project concession, construction and various specialist documentation for equipment supply and maintenance works.