Sukuk & Islamic Finance
Growing with Demand
Malaysia is home to the world’s largest and deepest sukuk market. From issuing the world’s first sukuk in 1990 to launching the world’s first sovereign global sukuk in 2002, Malaysia has always been at the forefront of the development of Islamic finance. As an early and leading participant in the rise of Malaysia as a global Islamic finance hub, we have a traditionally strong track record in advising on Islamic finance matters and are experienced in negotiating, structuring and documenting complex and innovative Islamic financial and corporate structures, and have advised on numerous market pioneering sukuk transactions, including:
- the world’s first exchangeable Sukuk (and also the largest ever exchangeable issuance in Malaysia;
- the world’s first perpetual sukuk issuance;
- the world’s first Green SRI sukuk issuance;
- Malaysia’s first non-performing loans securitisation;
- Malaysia’s first Islamic stapled securities transaction;
- Sukuk issuances by the first Turkish issuer and the first foreign sovereign wealth issuer in Malaysia.
Our Extensive Experience
We have extensive experience in the preparation of Islamic financing instruments under various Shariah principles on behalf of Islamic financial institutions and are an active participant in the development of the Islamic finance industry in Malaysia. Our advice is regularly sought by regulators and financial institutions and we work closely with Shariah scholars and advisors in devising both practical, legal and Shariah-compliant structures to facilitate various funding objectives.
Our Market Recognition:
- National Law Firm of The Year – International Financial Law Review Asia Awards, 2007 and 2014
- Malaysian Law Firm of The Year – Asian Legal Business (ALB) Malaysia Law Awards 2016, 2020 and 2023
- West Malaysia Law Firm of The Year – ALB Malaysia Law Awards 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023
- Islamic Finance Law Firm of The Year – ALB Malaysia Law Awards 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022 and 2023
- Banking and Financial Services Law Firm of the Year – ALB Malaysia Law Awards 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021
- Islamic Finance News (IFN) Law Awards 2018: ESG, Green, SRI Law Firm of the Year
- IFN Law Awards 2019: ESG, Green, SRI Law Firm of the Year; Energy & Natural Resources Law Firm of The Year
- Malaysia Capital Markets Firm of The Year – Asian-Mena Counsel Awards 2018 and 2019
- Malaysia Projects & Project Financing Firm of The Year – Asian-Mena Counsel Awards 2018
- Malaysia Project Finance Law Firm of The Year – The Asset Triple A Asia Infrastructure Awards 2019
- Malaysia Law Firm of the Year for Project Financing – In-House Community Awards 2021
- Malaysia Law Firm of the Year for Islamic Finance, Banking and Finance, Capital Markets respectively – In-House Community Awards 2021 and 2022.
Rankings / Publications
Our expertise is acknowledged by the following publications:
- Chambers Asia Pacific 2022 – Ranked Band 1 for Banking & Finance, Debt Capital Markets, and Islamic Finance (Asia Pacific)
- IFLR 1000 2022 – Ranked Tier 1 for Banking & Finance, Capital Markets
- Legal 500 2022 – Ranked Tier 1 for Banking & Finance, Capital Markets and Islamic Finance
- Asialaw Profiles 2022– Ranked ‘Outstanding’ for Banking & Finance, Banking & Financial Services and Capital Markets.
In addition to the above, our team has received the following capital markets ranking by Bloomberg’s Global Legal Adviser League Tables:
- ranked the World’s No.1 law firm for the 9 consecutive years from 2013 – 2021 as Manager/Lender’s Counsel with the highest Islamic Finance/sukuk issuance deal count advised on; and
- ranked amongst the World’s Top 3 law firms for the 9 consecutive years from 2013 – 2021 as Issuer’s Counsel with the highest Islamic Finance/sukuk issuance deal count advised on.
Our Deal Experience:
Our experience includes acting as transaction counsel in the following recent market-significant deals:
- the RM5.75 billion financing, in a single ring-fenced project finance transaction, to Infracap Resources (a Sarawak State funding vehicle) for 11 specific development state projects throughout Sarawak, on the credit strength of the Sarawak State Government, which projects include the Northern Coastal Highway (Limbang/Lawas road) and Kuching Urban Transportation System – the issuance is compliant with ESG principles as prescribed under the United Nations Global Compact and was awarded the Project & Infrastructure Finance Deal Of The Year at the Islamic Finance Deal Of The Year Awards 2021;
- the RM500 million Sustainable Sukuk financing to SME Bank to fund its Environmental Social Governance (ESG) initiatives such as entrepreneurial training and job creation, which was the first Malaysian Development and Finance Institution ESG issuance – the issuance was awarded the Sustainable Responsible Investment/Environmental Social Governance Deal Of The Year at the Islamic Finance Deal Of The Year Awards 2021;
- the RM850 million Perpetual Sukuk Musharakah financing to IJM Land RM850 million (US$208.38 million) on 2019, Malaysia’s first guaranteed perpetual issuance – the issuance was awarded the Perpetual Deal Deal Of The Year at the Islamic Finance Deal Of The Year Awards 2020;
- the 2021 RM1.5 billion Senior Sukuk Wakalah and/or subordinated Perpetual Sukuk Wakalah Bi Al-Istithmar ASEAN Bond Standards/Green Bond Principles compliant financing to Cenergi SEA Berhad for its renewable energy business;
- the 2021 RM2.7 billion Sukuk Murabahah syndicated financing to Pulau Indah Power Plant Sdn Bhd for the total project costs of a 1,200 MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plant and its related facilities based on the Equator Principles, the financial industry standard for environmental and social risk management in projects; and
- the USD800 million Sustainable Sukuk Wakalah financing to the Government of Malaysia, issued through its SPV Issuer, Malaysia Wakala Sukuk Berhad, the world’s first Sovereign US Dollar Sustainability Sukuk issuance whereby proceeds will be used for eligible social and green projects aligned to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Agenda. This deal has won the Islamic Finance News Wakalah Deal of The Year Award 2021.