Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TAQA goes east with a sukuk

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) has issued a 10-year ringgit-denominated sukuk, which was met with strong demand, continuing a trend for GCC issuers to look east to Malaysia for capital to diversify funding sources.  In the past, I have suggested that some issuance in ringgit may be an effort to speculate on the direction of the Ringgit versus the US dollar (to which GCC currencies are pegged).  This has been speculation on my part (with the ringgit-dollar exchange rate at the highest point in at least 6 years, a fall in the value of the ringgit would reduce their obligations in principal and profit).  However, it appears that TAQA does not have this objective in mind since they swapped the exposure into US dollars at a rate of 5.3% (the ringgit rate on the sukuk was 4.65%).  The 10-year tenor of the sukuk is longer than most of the issuance out of the GCC (where 5 years is favored) so perhaps it was the ability to find demand for longer-dated sukuk (perhaps based on a more liquid secondary market) was the reason for looking to KL. 

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