Malaysia picks lead arrangers for $1.8 billion samurai bond

Malaysia has picked three lead arrangers for a samurai bond issuance of up to 200 billion yen ($1.83 billion), finance minister Lim Guan Eng said on Friday.

The Malaysian units of HSBC Holdings and Mizuho Financial Group, along with Daiwa Capital Markets — which will work in partnership with Affin Hwang Investment Bank — will be the joint lead arrangers, Lim told reporters.

“The bond is expected to be raised in the next few months,” Lim said, adding that the Japan Bank of International Cooperation will guarantee the bond.

The coupon rate will be no more than 0.65 percent per annum, he said.

In November, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the government will issue before March a 200 billion yen Samurai bond with low interest rates to pay back some of the “costly” loans taken by the previous administration of Najib Razak.

Since a shock election victory in May, Mahathir has blamed the Najib administration for bringing the government’s total debt and liabilities to over 1 trillion ringgit.

His administration also blamed the previous government of deceiving the public and parliament over the country’s financial situation and state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which is now the subject of corruption and money laundering investigations in at least six countries.

Najib has since been charged with multiple counts of corruption over 1MDB. He has pleaded not guilty and has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

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