Banking and finance in Malaysia

Adnan Sundra & Low

With an impressive roster of both lender and borrowers among its clients, the banking and finance team at Adnan Sundra & Low has a reputation for handling high-value conventional and Islamic financing transactions. Its experience includes advising on Sukuks, corporate, real estate, projects and aviation financings for local, offshore and foreign clients. The group advised HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad and United Overseas Bank on Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia’s guaranteed bond programme and assisted Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) with Government of Malaysia’s issuance of 200bn yen ten-year Samurai bond. Deepak Sadasivan and Adrian Chee jointly lead the practice and both have experience in a range of corporate, capital markets and banking and financing work. Other names to note include Edward Ng, Kok Ling Gan and Murni Zukifli and Jennifer Lee who handle a range of banking and finance and debt capital market work.  Lai Kooi Thong joined DFDL in Cambodia.

Practice head(s):

Deepak Sadasivan; Adrian Chee

Key clients

Malayan Banking Berhad

Public Bank Berhad

CIMB Group

Hong Leong Bank Berhad

RHB Bank Berhad

AmBank (M) Berhad

United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd

OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad

HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad

Maybank Islamic Berhad

Work highlights

  • Advised Kenanga Investment Bank on Sunway Berhad’s issuance of a perpetual Sukuk programme valued up to RM5bn in nominal value.
  • Acted for HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad and United Overseas Bank on Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia’s issuance of a guaranteed bond programme.
  • Instructed by CIMB Investment Bank to advise on Edra Energy Sdn Bhd’s Islamic medium term notes issuance.

Albar & Partners

The 'technically sound' practice at Albar & Partners specialises in high-value financing transactions for a range of international investors. Led by Lily Chea Li Tan, Swee Loong Chung and Sharifah Dalilah Albar, the team's 'great strength' is demonstrated by its full-service offering across the banking and finance field, including corporate lending, Islamic finance and Sukuk, and project finance. Tan and Abraham Tat Hon Teh advised a cross-border consortium of lenders on financing the SGD500m development of Central Boulevard in Singapore. The 'technically proficientSeet Hooi Ping is praised for her 'on the spot, accurate advice'.

Practice head(s):

Lily Tan Chea Li; Swee Loong Chung; Sharifah Dalilah Albar

Testimonials

Technically sound – understand regulations well and can advise accordingly on efficient tax planning.’

The team will be able to attend to the matter in a professional manner regardless of seniority.

Albar has shown great strength in advising the bank on legal issues and also the financing arrangement including giving input on the commercial aspect which is relevant to the business.

Key clients

AmInvestment Bank Berhad and Ambank (M) Berhad

CIMB Investment Bank Berhad and CIMB Bank Berhad

Hong Leong Investment Bank Berhad and Hong Leong Bank Berhad

Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad

Maybank Investment Bank Berhad and Malayan Banking Berhad

MBSB Bank Berhad

OSK Holdings Berhad

Public Investment Bank Berhad and Public Bank Berhad

RHB Investment Bank Berhad and RHB Bank Berhad

United Oveseas Bank (Malaysia) Berhad

Work highlights

  • Acted for the lenders on the cross-border term-loan financing for the proposed development at Central Boulevard in Singapore by Novel Vortex, a subsidiary of IOI Property Group.
  • Acted for the lender on the RM300m term-loan facility to MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems.
  • Acted for the lenders on the term-loan facility of up to THB2bn granted to Samui Hotel 2 Co Ltd, to part-finance the cost of construction of phase two of Ritz Carlton Hotel in Koh Samui.

Rahmat Lim & Partners

The practice at Rahmat Lim & Partners has great expertise in high-value domestic and cross-border finance matters, particularly debt restructuring, syndicated lending and loan facilities, as well as maintaining a dedicated fintech practice. Wan Kai Chee leads the team, which acts for domestic and international banks and investment funds including RHB, Malayan Banking, and CIMB. 'Thorough' managing partner Azman bin Othman Luk and Soh Yin Chuin advised Malayan, Maybank Islamic, and RHB on the MYR1.84bn debt restructuring of Nam Cheong Group, a complex matter requiring both restructuring existing and establishing new financing provisions.

Practice head(s):

Wan Kai Chee

Work highlights

  • Advised the Malaysian bank lenders Malayan Banking Berhad, Maybank Islamic Berhad, RHB Bank Berhad and RHB Bank (L) Bhd as lead counsel in respect of the debt restructuring exercise of the Nam Cheong Group.
  • Advised CIMB Bank Berhad in respect of multi-currency facilities granted to the holders of the franchise rights for the McDonald’s restaurants in Singapore and Malaysia respectively.
  • Advised Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited, Labuan Branch and AmBank (M) Berhad  on the financing of the Acquisition of Sunrich Plantations Pte. Ltd. by M.P. Evans & Co. Limited.

Shearn Delamore & Co

With a strong niche in regulatory advice and deriviatives, the practice at Shearn Delamore & Co is greatly respected for its expertise, issuing netting and collateral opinions to ISDA and ICMA. Christina Kow leads the team, which also has a strong record on the lender side of domestic and cross-border transactions, with clients including Standard Chartered, HSBC, and Malayan Banking. Pamela Kung is particularly active, advising Standard Chartered on a RM203.5bn loan facility to KL Eco City for the building of a hotel as part of a broader development in Kuala Lumpur.

Practice head(s):

Christina Kow

Key clients

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Offshore Banking Unit, Labuan

S P Setia Berhad

Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad

Affin Islamic Bank Berhad

HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad

HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad

OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad

OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad

Malayan Banking Berhad

PT Synergy Oil Nusantara

Work highlights

  • Assisted Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad with a term loan facility granted to KL Eco City Sdn Bhd for purposes of part financing the construction of a hotel.

Wong & Partners

The 'fair and efficientMark Lim and Esther Chik head the team at Wong & Partners, advising domestic banks and financial institutions as well as multinational companies and investment funds, primarily on financial transactions, alongside securitisation, syndicated lending, and sukuk. The firm's capabilities are demonstrated by a client list including Pestech Cambodia, Maybank Investment, and Export-Import Bank of Malaysia. The team regularly participates in high-value cross-border work, with Lim advising U Mobile on a MYR1bn loan facility involving both Malaysian and Singaporean fund providers.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lim; Esther Chik

Testimonials

Their work has been very helpful and timely. They are also very practical in offering solutions to issues of differences so that both the banks and the issuer can align our interests.

 

Key clients

Maybank Islamic Berhad

Maybank Investment Bank Berhad and AmInvestment Bank Berhad

U Mobile

CIMB Group

RHB Banking Group

Export-Import Bank of Malaysia

S P Setia

Press Metal

Pestech (Cambodia) Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented one of the largest Malaysian Islamic banks in connection with the Commodity Murabahah Term Financing-i facility of $100m granted to Press Metal Bintulu.
  • Represented U Mobile, a Malaysian mobile telecommunications service provider in connection with a term loan facility of up to MYR1bn granted by United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd to part finance its capital and operation expenditure, as well as repaying the existing shareholder loans.
  • Represented the Mandated Lead Arrangers and the Original Financiers on a syndicated Commodity Murabahah Term Financing Facility and Islamic Bank Guarantee Facility of up to $53m to be granted to an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of a Malaysian integrated  electrical power technology group of companies listed on the main market of Malaysia stock exchange.

Zaid Ibrahim & Co (a member of ZICO Law)

The team at Zaid Ibrahim & Co (a member of ZICO Law) act for a range of clients, including domestic and international banks and financial institutions, with experience in syndicated lending, project finance, and corporate banking matters. The firm boasts impressive overseas clients, including Bayerische Landesbank, JP Morgan, and ANZ Bank. Lilian LiewDavid Lee Kim Meng, and Loo Tatt King lead the practice, with Liew advising a banking syndicate on a RM2.5bn Islamic loan facility granted to Projek Lintasan Damansara-Shah for the construction of a highway. Chin Sook Kwan is praised for her work on securisation and other structured financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Lillian Liew; David Lee Kim Meng; Loo Tatt King

Work highlights

  • Advising the loan facility of RM80m and Revolving Credit Facility of RM40m granted by United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Berhad to Asia Pacific Land Berhad.
  • Advising the commodity murabahah term financing-i facility of AU$60.1m granted by RHB Islamic Bank Berhad to THP Lidcombe.
  • Acted as the Malaysian counsel to German-based Bayerische Landesbank in relation to facilities of up to £120m granted by Bayerische Landesbank to Tenaga Wind Ventures UK Ltd.

Zul Rafique & Partners

The team at Zul Rafique & Partners offers regulatory and transactional advice to domestic and international financial institutions, acting on both the lending and borrowing side in project financing and syndicated lending matters. The practice is led by the 'excellentLoh Mei Mei, advising clients such as Standard Chartered, HSBC, and Bank of China Malaysia. Mei and Celine Rangithan advised Maybank and CIMB on a complex project financing deal involving four different companies, with a total of around RM1.17bn in funds provided. Kung Suan ImAshela Ramaya, and Chan Kwan Hoe are all active in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Loh Mei Mei

Testimonials

The core members of the corporate banking and finance team at this firm had been the same for more than 10 years. The leadership provides a stable team and encourages a team committed to the clients.

Loh Mei Mei is an excellent partner if you are attending to any financing and corporate banking for the first time. She will take time to explain to you, your rights as a borrower and help you manage your obligations to the lenders/financiers.

Key clients

Maxis Berhad

Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad

Measat Satelite Systems Sdn Bhd

Standard Chartered Bank Group

Maybank Group

Bank of China (Malaysia) Bread

Affin Group

HSBC Group

CIMB Bank Group

OCBC Group

Genting Berhad

RHB Group

MIDF Group

Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad

Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia

Cathay United Bank

Natixis

ING Bank N.V. (Labuan)

Work highlights

  • Advised lenders on the project financing of RM2.15bn for the development of the “Lifestyle Quarter” at TRX.
  • Acted for the inanciers (AmBank Islamic Berhad and OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad) in Asaljuru Weida Sdn Bhd’s financing to upgrade Hospital Umum Sarawak.
  • Acted for Maybank Investment Bank Berhad, CIMB Investment Bank Berhad, Maybank Islamic Berhad and CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad  in the project financing of Desaru Coast’s beachfront development.

Christopher & Lee Ong

Christopher & Lee Ong's practice works closely with banks and financial institutions on syndicated lending, project and structured finance deals, handling both domestic and cross-border mandates. Clients include domestic and international banks, Malaysian multinationals, and business conglomerates. Christopher Lee and Fiona Sequerah jointly lead the practice, which has increased its work on the lender side, bolstering an already strong offering for borrower side clients. Chor Jack is praised for his 'good communication and analytical skills'.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Lee; Fiona Sequerah

Testimonials

The team is especially attentive and able to understand the client’s needs and perspectives. Always prompt in response and provides practical legal solutions and advice.’

Excellent team work. Able to complement each other.

Jack Chor is helpful, provides swift responses, well-equipped with legal knowledge.’

Key clients

KBJ HECMY Sdn. Bhd.

Scatec Solar

Work highlights

  • Acting for for the joint principal arrangers and joint lead arrangers (CIMB Investment Bank Berhad, HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad, HSBC Amanah Bank Malaysia Berhad, Maybank Investment Berhad), on a joint conventional and Islamic medium-term notes programme made available to Cagamas Berhad.

Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill

The 'very experiencedWeng Hwee Tay leads the team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill, which acts across the range of banking and finance matters, including syndicated loans, project and asset finance, bankruptcy and restructuring and bank branch establishment. The practice has a particular strength in transactions, primarily acting for lenders, which include international institutions such as HSBC and Standard Charted alongside domestic banks such as Maybank, CIMB and AmBank. Eu Jin Ong advised the government of Malaysia on a ¥200bn Series A samurai bond issue to qualified institutional investors.

Practice head(s):

Tay Weng Hwee

Testimonials

‘LHAG are our go-to legal firm in Malaysia for our deals. We work with them mainly because of their lead partner, Weng Tay but they have proven to also have a deep bench.’

Weng Tay is our go-to lawyer for our Malaysian deals.

Key clients

Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad

Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd

United Overseas Bank (M) Berhad

CIMB Bank Berhad

AmInvestment Bank Berhad

Barry Callebaut

RHB Bank Berhad

RHB Islamic Bank Berhad Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA)

Allen & Overy LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Government of Malaysia on the proposed issuance of  Japanese denominated yen bonds, guaranteed by Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Shook Lin & Bok

Shook Lin & Bok is strong for contentious and non-contentious conventional and Islamic finance matters and has a breadth of experience in the negotiating, preparing and structuring of banking and finance transactions, products and documentation. Corporate finance partner Jalalullail Othman heads up the group and has experience advising domestic and international financial institutions, corporate borrowers and public sector bodies such as Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Malaysia. The group also has a dedicated loan and debt restructuring practice, which is led by Mei Lin Khong and benefits from conventional and Islamic finance expert Kiat Ching Hoh's expertise which spans from advising on corporate and retail banking documentation to corporate debt restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Jalalullail Othman

Other key lawyers:

Mei Lin Khong; Kiat Ching Hoh

Skrine

Led by Theresa Chong and Dato Philip Chan Hon Keong, the practice at Skrine advises domestic and international banks on transactions as well as representing financial institutions in disputes with customers. Representing banks in recovery suits is a particular strength for the firm, with clients including Maybank Islamic, HSBC Amanah, and Malayan Banking. Claudia Cheah Pek Yee represents Malayan in a RM800m recovery of loans made to a ship building company, including opening an action against the Malaysian government.

Practice head(s):

Theresa Chong; Dato’ Philip Chan

Key clients

Malayan Banking Berhad

Maybank Islamic Berhad

Hong Leong Bank Berhad

Agrobank

HSBC Amanah Berhad

HSBC Bank Berhad

Bank of China (Malaysia) Berhad

Modalku Ventures Sdn Bhd

CIMB Bank Berhad

Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad

Work highlights

  • Represented the largest Islamic bank in Malaysia and successfully defended proceedings filed by a customer for alleged unIslamic conducts in the bank’s recovery action.
  • Represented the largest bank in Malaysia in its RM800 million recovery actions.
  • Representing an Islamic bank in recovery action and defending a claim against the bank for alleged fraud and forgery in the creation of land charges.

Zain & Co

Zain & Co handles a range of conventional and Islamic banking and finance and counts Malayan Banking, Maybank Islamic and DBS Bank among its client roster. Practice head Zainal Azlan Abdul Kadir’s experience includes advising on offshore financing and foreign currency loans, syndicate loan facilities and aircraft financing. Associate Chea Shinh Lee is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Zainal Azlan bin Abdul Kadir

Other key lawyers:

Chea Shinh Lee

Key clients

Malayan Banking Berhad

Maybank Islamic Berhad

DBS Bank Ltd

RHB Bank (L) ltd

Petroliam Nasional Berhad

Work highlights

  • Assisted RHB Bank with drafting template documentation for its new Islamic banking facilities known as Commodity Murabahah Term Financing-i, Commodity Murabahah Revolving Credit-i and Bank Guarantee-i facilities.
  • Acted for a Singapore-based investments company involved in the asset management industry on the review of the Singapore law governed facility agreement for credit facilities of S$430m, and prepared the relevant Malaysia law security documents.
  • Advised DBS Bank on the enforeability of Singaporean law governed security documents under Malaysian law.

Abdullah Chan & Co

Abdullah Chan & Co's banking and finance team has been particularly active in the aviation and aerospace sector, with experience acting for both lenders and borrowers in aircraft financing transactions. Corporate partner Vincent Chan (who has experience advising financial institutions on M&A transactions), financing regulatory expert Gopal Sundaram, and aviation finance expert Shelina Razaly Wahi are the names to notes in the team.

Practice head(s):

Vincent Chan

Other key lawyers:

Gopal Sundaram; Shelina Razaly Wahi

Key clients

Airpay Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

Instarem Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

Qatar Islamic Bank

Financial Assets Bahrain W.L.L

RUSD Investment Bank Inc

Tadhamon International Islamic Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Infinity Aviation Capital on the purchase of an aircraft subject to an existing operating lease.
  • Acted for Erste Group Bank on the refinancing of an aircraft subject to an existing operating lease.
  • Advised China Exim Bank on the novation of the facility for the purchase of a wide-body aircraft which was required due to the refinancing of the aircraft by the owner.

Chooi & Company and Cheang & Ariff

The banking and finance team at Chooi & Company and Cheang & Ariff has experience across the full range of domestic, offshore and cross-border, conventional and Islamic financing. It is instructed by both domestic and international banks, including ICICI Bank and Malayan Banking, in addition to corporate borrowers. Loy Tuan Bee advises on project and structured finance, syndications and ship and aircraft financing. Other names to note include Chooi Mun Sou, who handles a range of corporate matters as well as project financing, and Chong Wei Lung, whose experience spans capital market transactions, corporate banking and financing and restructuring. Karen Cheah Yee Lynn and Adriel Lau Jin Son are also names to note.

Practice head(s):

Loy Tuan Bee; Chooi Mun Sou; Chong Wei Lung; Karen Cheah Yee Lynn ; Adriel Lau Jin Son

Key clients

ICICI Bank Limited, Singapore Branch

Malayan Banking Berhad

Work highlights

  • Advised Malayan Banking on term loan facility to Fortress Pavilion Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of JAKS Resources Group.
  • Acted for the Singapore branch of ICICI Bank Limited on the $7m financing facility granted to the borrowers, which consisted of a Malaysian resident entity, Labuan entity and a Singaporean entity.

Kadir Andri & Partners

Andri Aidham leads the practice at Kadir Andri & Partners, handling shariah-compliant banking and finance matters, with a particular strength in project financing for infrastructure, utilities and ship financing. Clients include Malayan Banking, Bank Islam Malaysia and Maybank Investment. Aidham advised Asian Finance Bank on a RM2295m sukuk facility for Malaysia Building Society.

Practice head(s):

Andri Aidham

Key clients

Malayan Banking Berhad

OCBC Bank Berhad

Public Bank Berhad

Maybank Investment Bank Berhad

Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad

Petronas Group of Companies

Malaysia Building Society Berhad (MBSB)

Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd

Work highlights

  • Structured a covered sukuk Murabahah Facility of up to RM2,295m for Asian Finance Bank Berhad.

Mohamed Ridza & Co

The three-partner banking and finance team at Mohamed Ridza & Co advises lenders and corporate borrowers across a full range of matters. In addition to advising on financing transactions, including syndication exercises and cross-border financings, the practice assists its financial institution clients with drafting template documentation. Mohamed Ridza Abdullah, who has a breadth of experience in domestic and cross-border matters, heads up the practice alongside Hafidah Aman Hashim, who predominantly acts for banks and other financial institutions, and Islamic finance expert Sharifah Shafika Alsagoff.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Ridza Abdullah; Hafidah Aman Hashim; Sharifah Shafika Alsagoff

Naqiz & Partners

Naqiz & Partners’ banking and finance team frequently advises domestic banks on all aspects of loan and financing transactions. It also has experience assisting foreign financial institutions, offshore banks, private mutual funds and investment banks with advisory matters. Practice head Shamshul Iskandar Zulkifli combines corporate, conveyancing expertise with experience in conventional and Islamic finance.

Practice head(s):

Shamshul Iskandar Zulkifli

Raja, Darryl & Loh

Raja, Darryl & Loh’s cross-departmental team has experience advising on a range of contentious and non-contentious banking and finance matters. On the transactional side, it assists its financial institution clients with conventional and Islamic retail and corporate financing. The team is also developing its fintech practice with experience advising on compliance matters relating to digital micro-financing and payment solutions. Names to note include Sai Yeang Ng, Kok Seng Chong and Mei Mei Chong for disputes and aviation financing and financial technology advice respectively.

Tay & Partners

Tay & Partners handles a range of conventional and Islamic financing transactions and counts domestic and international commercial and investment banks among its client roster. Hong Yun Chang heads up the practice and combines corporate and real estate sector expertise, while Jia Hui Yip has particular aviation financing experience.

Practice head(s):

Hong Yun Chang

Other key lawyers:

Jia Hui Yip

Key clients

AirAsia Berhad

Work highlights

  • Acted as Malaysia legal advisers to AirAsia Group Berhad in connection with the sale of a portfolio of 25 aircraft to Castlelake LP.

Azmi & Associates

Azmi & Associates' banking and finance team counts domestic and international financial institutions, as well as corproate borrowers, among its clients. Ahmad Lutfi Abdull Mutalip, whose experience includes advising on private debt securities, syndicated financing, structured & project financing, heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Ahmad Lutfi Abdull Mutalip

HL Lee & Co

The banking and finance team at HL Lee & Co has experience assisting Malaysian financial institutions with grants of loan and financing facilities to its corporate clients. Ng King Hoe heads up the practice and has experience handling conventional and Islamic finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Ng King Hoe

Work highlights

  • Advised a major Malaysian financial institution oin the granting of revolving credit and trade line facilities of RM40m to a company to finance its working capital.
  • Acted for a major financial institution in Malaysia in the granting of term loan, revolving credit and multi-trade finance facilities of RM60m to a company to finance its working capital.
  • Assisted a major financial institution in Malaysia with the granting of a term loan facility of RM5.8m to a company in the business of oil palm plantations and milling operations to finance its purchase of machinery and equipment.
  • Advised a major financial institution in Malaysia on a term loan facility of RM30m granted to a company, which operates and manages a world-class five-star resort in Langkawi, Malaysia, to finance its payments for the materials supplied and services rendered in respect of the resort.
  • Acted for a major financial institution in Malaysia on the granting of revolving credit facilities of RM140m to the owner of a major shopping mall in Selangor, Malaysia to finance, among others, its general working capital and operational expenditure.

Khaw & Partners

Khaw & Partners  offers contentious and non-contentious banking and finance expertise to its client roster which includes financial institutions, domestic and international companies investing in Malaysia, as well as private individuals. Ah Kok Fong is a name to note for financing transactions while Juk Chee Yong handles banking litigation.

Practice head(s):

Ah Kok Fong

Other key lawyers:

Juk Chee Yong