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Editorial

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Although Adnan Sundra & Low is well known for handling the country's premium IPO deals, a quiet ECM market has meant the 'exceptionally strong, attentive, speedy' practice has been DCM-focused of late, handling a large number of high-value deals. It is particularly busy on the underwriter side, but also acts for issuers on significant matters, instituting a RM5bn programme of commercial papers and medium-term notes for Hap Seng Consolidated. Adrian Chee, Deepak Sadasivan and Edward Ng are the names to note. Junior partners Murni Zulkifli Aziz, Jennifer Lee, Jerry Tiew and 'exceptional negotiator' Lai Kooi Thong are also highly active in debt capital markets work.

The 'responsive, experienced' team at Albar & Partners has 'in-depth knowledge' and provides 'constructive solutions'. It has been especially busy in debt capital markets this year, with Chung Swee Loong acting for CIMB Investment Bank as lead arranger on Maxis Broadband's RM10bn unrated sukuk murabahah programme. On the issuer side, Lily, Chea Li Tan advised YTL Power International on its establishment of a RM2.5bn sukuk murabahah facility. Danajamin Nasional and UMW Holdings are additional issuer clients. Natalie Peh Suan Wan is active in equity capital markets.

With excellent multi-jurisdictional capabilities, Wong & Partners leverages its impressive strength in depth to excellent effect across debt and equity capital markets. Mark Lim acted for Maybank Investment Bank and CIMB Investment Bank as lead arrangers on BEWG (M)'s issuance of RM400m-worth of sukuk, to part-finance the upgrading of the Bukit Sah water treatment plant. Munir Abdul Aziz advised Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ on the sale of its 4.6% stake in CIMB Group Holdings via an accelerated book-build. Brian Chia is also recommended for equity capital markets.

The team at Zaid Ibrahim & Co (a member of ZICO Law) is especially strong in debt capital markets, securitisation and structured finance. Lilian Liew acted for Southern Power Generation as issuer on its issuance of RM3.65bn-worth of sukuk under the Wakalah Bi Al-Istithmar principle, and assisted Tenaga Nasional with its RM5bn sukuk programme. Telecoms is a sector strength: clients here include Digi Telecommunications and Celcom Networks. Chin Sook Kwan is also recommended.

Noted for its strength in equity capital markets, Zul Rafique & Partners' practice is led by Jerry Ong, who advised Maxis on the regulatory aspects of its RM1.65bn private placement of shares offered to domestic and international investors. He also acted for CCCG Overseas Real Estate on its RM200m subscription of shares in WCT Precious Development. On the debt capital markets side, Ashela Ramaya and Chan Kwan Hoe advised MIDF Amanah Investment Bank as arranger on PNB Merdeka Ventures' RM2bn green socially responsible investment (SRI) sukuk and its unrelated RM3.65bn sukuk. Loh Mei Mei is highly active in debt capital markets.

Chooi & Company + Cheang & Ariff  was formed from the June 2018 merger between Chooi & Company and Cheang & Ariff; equity capital markets expert Tan Ming-Li  is the key contact, though Ming Sun Yoon  is also active in the space. Tan acted for Sunway Group on a RM1bn share issuance, and advised S P Setia on a rights issuance to raise RM1.2bn. Other clients include Cuscapi and property development company IGB.

The practice at Jeff Leong, Poon & Wong is particularly strong in equity capital markets: Jeff Leong and Kenny Poon are deeply experienced in IPOs, rights issuances and listed-company work. James Wong is especially active on the debt side, though he also assisted Linocraft Printers with its restructuring and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange's Growth Enterprise Market. Poon advised bedroom furniture exporter LY on its IPO on the Singapore Exchange.

Rahmat Lim & Partners¬†handles securitisation and debt capital markets work, especially for issuers in the energy industry, as well as IPOs, where it has been active in the retail, technology and financial institutions sectors.¬†Zandra Tan¬†acted for Edra Energy on its issuance of RM5.28bn-worth of sukuk under the Wakalah Bi Al-Istithmar principle;¬†Kelvin Loh¬†advised VTTI on its issuance of $260m- and ‚ā¨202m-worth of notes via private placement to foreign investors.¬†Wan Kai Chee¬†heads the group.

Praised for its 'in-depth legal knowledge, committed approach and willingness to always go the extra mile to add value', Wong Beh & Toh's department counts equity capital markets as a particular strength; it has a large corporate client base. Cynthia Toh acted for Wegmans Furniture Industries on its IPO on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia, giving it a market capitalisation of RM145m; she also advised PMB Technology on its rights issuance of convertible loan stocks to raise RM200m. Yeap Lin Lin is also very active in the space.

With its client base largely comprising publicly listed companies or companies looking to be listed, the team at Ben & Partners is best known for its equity capital markets work. Managing partner Koay Ben Ree, who heads the group jointly with Lim Ching Yong, assisted Global eSolutions (HK) with due diligence on the company's Malaysian business ahead of its proposed flotation on the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Prinx Investment and Hao Tian Development Group are additional clients.

Acting mostly for financial institutions, Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill's practice is especially adept at handling conventional and Islamic debt capital markets work.  Megat Hizaini Hassan advised QSR Stores on its RM1.3bn issuance of medium-term notes under the principle of murabahah. The team also acts for underwriters on IPOs. Bella Chu Chai Yee and Ong Eu Jin are very active in the space.

Managing partner Adrian Koh is the key contact at Mah-Kamariyah & Philip Koh, which is best known for its equity capital markets expertise. Koh and Yee Chew Yan assisted BGMC International with its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Other clients include OCC Cables, Kingsley Edugroup and Baysis Development.

Especially strong in equity capital markets, Raja, Darryl & Loh's practice is led jointly by Tai Chu Wei and Christopher Foo. Tai acted for Cloudaron Group and SL Information on their separate listings on Bursa Malaysia's Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform (LEAP) market. Senior associate Benjamin Kong is also singled out.

Noted for its excellent transactional and regulatory capabilities, Shearn Delamore & Co's department is especially active advising banks (including CIMB Investment Bank, Kenanga Investment Bank and HSBC) on debt capital markets matters. It also acts for issuers: Pamela Kung advised Tanjung Bin Energy on its RM800m issuance of sukuk. Christina Kow heads the group.

Though it handles sukuk issuances, Christopher & Lee Ong's 'responsive' practice is best known for its equity capital markets work. Key contact Yon See Ting Regent Wise Investments on its initial acquisition of a 17% stake in MCT, which triggered a requirement to make a mandatory takeover offer for all shares but which also involved an application to the Malaysian Securities Commission for an exemption from making an offer for the ICULS in issue. Por Chuei Ying was Malaysian counsel to FSM Holdings on its IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

'Very responsive' corporate and equity capital markets boutique David Lai & Tan is particularly experienced in being Malaysian counsel to clients listing on stock exchanges elsewhere in the region; it provides 'precise, intuitive advice'. The 'very knowledgeable, hands-on' Tan Yee Boon assisted SK Target Group with its listing on the GEM of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; he has provided similar services to clients including Nexion Technologies, Jlogo Holdings and Aqina International Holdings. David

IPOs are the chief strength of HL Tan Lim & Partners' department. Group head Ronald Tan acted for a Malaysian manufacturing company on its pre-IPO restructuring and assisted it with finding pre-IPO investors. He also advised a marine foods supply chain company on its IPO on the ACE Market of the Bursa Malaysia. Asia Brands is another equity capital markets client.

Kadir Andri & Partners can draw on its excellent relationships with magic circle law firms when handling cross-border capital markets work. It is especially experienced in high-value equity capital markets work: Tan Kong Yam and Julian Hashim acted for the underwriters, including Credit Suisse Securities (Malaysia), Maybank Investment Bank and CIMB Investment Bank, on Lotte Chemical Holding's IPO on the Bursa Malaysia. Corporate clients include UMW Holdings and Sime Darby.

Noted for its deep expertise in shari'ah-compliant debt capital markets transactions, the team at Mohamed Ridza & Co is jointly led by managing partner Mohamed Ridza and Sharifah Shafika Alsagoff. Its clients are primarily financial institutions, including Maybank Investment Bank, AmInvestment Bank and RHB Investment Bank.

Murad Yee Partnership's department is especially experienced in equity capital markets. Kuay Ken Nie advised Hibiscus Petroleum on its issuance of free warrants to the entitled shareholders, and assisted Purely B with its equity crowdfunding transaction for its pre-expansion fundraising. Yee Fook Weng is also active in the space.

Name partner Peter Ling heads the practice at Peter Ling & van Geyzel, which is noted for its blue-chip corporate client base. Ling acted for EG Industries on its issuance of convertible preference shares, which raised RM50m. PRG Holdings is another representative client.

Teo Wai Sum is the key contact at Tay & Partners' department; he acted as Malaysian counsel to Clearbridge Health on its proposed IPO on the Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange. Managing partner Tay Beng Chai and senior associate Terrence Edward Chong are also singled out.

Zain & Co's 'very capable, highly knowledgeable and approachable' team has been particularly busy with equity capital markets matters and corporate equity restructurings: the 'commercial, hands-on' Pauline Ngiam advised Chemical Company of Malaysia on changing its capital structure and on the demerger of CCM Duopharma Biotech from the client. The firm is in the process of merging with Dentons.

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