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Islamic finance awards 2013: Axiata renminbi sukuk

Most innovative deal
Lead managers:
HSBC, CIMB, Merrill Lynch This was a deal in which the innovation-rich worlds of Islamic finance and dim sum renminbi bonds combined. It brimmed with novelty: it was the first rated sukuk in the Chinese currency; the first sukuk to use airtime vouchers as an underlying asset (Axiata is a Malaysian telco); and involved structural ingenuity, using the wakalah or agency structure.

Moreover, it worked. The deal started out as a Rmb500 million ($80 million) deal but eventually raised double that, and tightened along the way from 4% guidance to 3.75%, with an order book of Rmb3.5 billion from 80 accounts. It should pave the way for more renminbi-denominated sukuk and more sukuk from telcos hoping to use airtime as an underlying asset. Along the way it diversified Axiata’s investor base.

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