Malaysia’s biggest lender Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) hopes its recent acquisition of Kim Eng Holdings Ltd will strengthen its position in sukuk (Islamic bond) underwriting, after its share slipped from world’s second largest to fourth.

This was despite global sukuk sales growing 37% to US$6.7 billion on the back of economic recovery and growth in Asia and the Persian Gulf. Sales in Malaysia alone grew 51% to $4 billion. Maybank currently has a 9% share in the global market and dominates Malaysia’s 10-year dollar-denominated sukuk issuances, but has been restricted to local business and will need Kim Eng’s international reach to challenge larger players for the top spot, currently held by HSBC Holdings Plc with 24%. Malaysia’s CIMB took second place with 21%, and Standard Chartered Plc third with 13%.

Securities and investment banking group Kim Eng Holdings Ltd has offices in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, London, and New York. Maybank completed a 44.6% acquisition on 10 May this year for S$798 million (US$639 million).

The industry is hoping for a bright future in Malaysia and abroad, with US$444 billion in local economic development projects due to begin soon, and several Malaysian companies expected to begin refinancing later this year. Indonesian local currency issuances have been increasing as well, reaching Rp27.76 trillion ($3.24 billion) in 2010 and Rp17.94 trillion ($2.1 billion) so far this year. According to Bloomberg data, there is $59.3 billion worth of sukuk outstanding worldwide, with around $7.97 billion set to mature in 2012.

source & article: Business Times