KUALA LUMPUR, (Reuters) – Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) will set up a 3.5 billion ringgit ($1.1 billion) Islamic fund-raising programme in Malaysia, a source said on Monday.
The programme will be established in January, after the corporation sold 1 billion ringgit of bonds in the Southeast Asian country in 2008, said the source who asked not to be identified as the plan had not been announced.
GIC had no immediate comment.
The corporation is among a slew of Gulf issuers who are expected to tap Malaysia’s market in the coming months, as Middle Eastern banks and companies look to diversify their sources of funding after the Dubai debt crisis.
Dubai is working on plans to issue about $1.5 billion in sovereign sukuk in Malaysia while National Bank of Abu Dhabi , the UAE’s largest lender by market value, launched 500 million ringgit in 10-year sukuk last week.
Issuers seeking sharia-compliant funding can tap into an estimated $79 billion in excess liquidity in Malaysia, which is also home to the world’s largest Islamic bond market.
The Southeast Asian country accounted for 42 percent of global sukuk issuance of $19.1 billion last year, Thomson Reuters data showed. In the first nine months of 2010, ringgit-denominated sukuk deals made up 63.8 percent of total Islamic bonds issued globally, Kuwait Finance House said.
GIC was established in 1983 by the Gulf Cooperation Council and is owned by the six member states Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
It focuses on developing private enterprise and economic growth in the Gulf market by offering financial products and services.