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Editorial

Overview

It has been another quiet year for Malaysian lawyers, which is attributable to the consistently weak Ringgit, which remains under pressure from low commodity prices, and to the anxiety caused by allegations of corruption at the highest levels of government. A few wily foreign investors, especially private equity houses, have sought to take advantage of the situation by buying up undervalued assets but this has not been enough to offset the general slowdown.

Perhaps the most significant transaction this year was China General Nuclear Power Corporation’s acquisition of 1MDB’s energy assets. Skrine acted for the buyers while Rahmat Lim & Partners was instructed on the sell–side.

Capital markets has been especially slow; while a number of significant IPOs were proposed, few were completed. Those companies that did list successfully tended to do so in Hong Kong or Singapore rather than in Malaysia. Sukuk issuances continued to form the lion’s share of financial services work.

Despite the standstill in the market, October 2015 witnessed the emergence of Putri Norlisa Chair, founded by Putri Norlisa Najib, Adrian Chair and Constance Low, formerly of Kadir Andri & Partners. In other developments, Deepak Pillai and Intan Haryati joined Christopher & Lee Ong following a merger between that firm and their eponymous IT boutique.

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