Islamic finance in Malaysia

Adnan Sundra & Low

The 'efficient, practical and knowledgeable' Islamic finance team at Adnan Sundra & Low continues to be instructed in a range of transactions including Sukuk issuances and project financing. The group is jointly led by Deepak Sadasivan and Adrian Chee and includes Kok Ling Gan and the 'professional and responsive' Edward Ng, all of whom have a breadth of experience across a number of sectors including energy, telecoms and real estate. The team was further strengthened following its merger with Putri Norlisa Chair in August 2018.

Practice head(s):

Deepak Sadavisan; Adrian Chee

Other key lawyers:

Gan Kok Ling; Edward Ng

Key clients

Maybank Islamic Berhad

AmBank Islamic Berhad

Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad

Affin Hwang Investment Bank Berhad

 CIMB Investment Bank Berhad

Work highlights

  • Advised Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad on Sunway Berhad’s Issuance of Perpetual Sukuk under a Perpetual Sukuk Programme of up to RM5bn in nominal value.
  • Assisted the lead arranger, CIMB Investment Bank, with Edra Energy Sdn Bhd’s Islamic medium term notes issuance, of up to RM5bn in nominal value ,under the Shariah Principle of Wakalah Bi Al-Istithmar and Murabahah.
  • Advised Alliance Investment Bank on its a perpetual sukuk programme of up to a global limit of RM2.5bn.
  • Advised Kenanga Investment Bank, as principal advisor, lead arranger and lead manager, on ynasty Harmony Sdn Bhd’s Islamic medium term note programme of RM300m in nominal
  • Acted for Maybank Investment Bank on Kuantan Port Consortium Sdn Bhd’s issuance of unrated Islamic medium term notes programme of RM3bn in nominal value based on the Shariah Principle of Wakalah Bi-Istithmar.

Albar & Partners

Albar & Partners' practice has experience across a range of Islamic finance structures, including complex debt capital market transactions. The team counts a range of national and international financial services institutions among its clients, and attracts praise for 'not just assisting with the legal issues but also understanding the commercial intention'. Lily Chea Li Tan and Swee Loong Chung jointly head the team, handling a range of structured finance, Sukuk issuances and project financing transactions.

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

  • Assisted Pengurusan Aset Air with the restructuring of water bonds issued by the water concessionaires in Malaysia.
  • Acted for the principal advisers, joint lead arrangers and managers, RHB Investment Bank Berhad and AmInvestment Bank Berhad, in the structured covered Sukuk Murabahah facility by MBSB Bank Berhad.
  • Assited UMW Holdings Berhad on its issuance of perpetual Islamic notes under a perpetual Islamic note issuance programme of RM2bn based on Shariah principle on Musharakah.
  • Advised Maybank Investment Bank and RHB Investment Bank Berhad, as the joint principal advisers and lead arrangers of OSK I CM Sdn Bhd’s issuance of Islamic medium-term notes.
  • Acted for RHB Investment Bank Berhad, Maybank Investment Bank Berhad and RHB Islamic Bank Berhad, as the principal advisers, joint lead arrangers and joint lead managers of ALSREIT Capital’s Islamic medium-note programme of up to RM1.5bn in nominal value.

Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill

Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill's Islamic finance team is a popular choice for domestic and international financial institutions and counts United Overseas Bank, RHB Islamic Bank and Mapletree Investments among its clients. Weng Hwee Tay – who has been particularly active in advising foreign funds and banks on mezzanine financings – heads up the practice which includes Megat Hizaini Hassan, who has a breadth of experience in advising lenders on project finance transactions, restructuring projects and debt issuance, as well as capital markets expert Eu Jin Ong.

Practice head(s):

Tay Weng Hwee

Other key lawyers:

Megat Hizaini Hassan; Eu Jin Ong

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

  • Advised Sunway Treasury Sukuk on the set up of a Islamic commercial papers and Islamic medium term notes programme under the Shariah principle of Mudharabah of up to RM10.0bn in nominal value.
  • Advised QSR Stores on its issuance of unrated Islamic medium term notes under the Shariah principle of Murabahah.
  • Advised Maybank Islamic as the financier to Setia Eco Glades to finance the reimbursement of shareholders’ advances for the acquisition of a project land located in Sepang, Selangor.
  • Assisted Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation (Malaysia) Berhad with the legal documentation for the collaboration between Al Rajhi Bank and PT.
  • Advised MUFG Bank (Malaysia) Berhad on the legal documentation for the MUFG Bank’s proposed step up fixed rate financing-i which is a Commodity Murabahah financing facility 0with an embedded derivative (profit rate swap) mechanism.

Zaid Ibrahim & Co (a member of ZICO Law)

The banking and finance team at Zaid Ibrahim & Co (a member of ZICO Law) has experience advising local and foreign banks and financial institutions, and borrowers on structuring, negotiating and drafting documentation for a range of Islamic finance transactions. Debt capital markets and structured finance expert Lilian Liew heads the team alongside David Lee Kim Meng, who handles a range of banking, finance and capital markets work. Other names to note include Chin Sook Kwan who has expertise across corporate loans, conventional and Islamic debt securities and project finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Lillian Liew; David Lee Kim Meng

Other key lawyers:

Chin Sook Kwan

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Affin Hwang Investment Bank Berhad, the sole lead arranger, to advise on the issuance of Islamic medium term notes based on the Shariah principle of Murabahah of up to RM240m in nominal value by UiTM Solar Power Sdn Bhd to finance the construction cost of a 50MW solar power station located in Gambang, Malaysia.
  • Assisted CIMB Investment Bank Berhad and Maybank Investment Bank Berhad, as the joint lead arrangers, with the issuance of unrated Islamic medium term notes programme under the Shariah principle of Murabahah  of RM800m in nominal value by Eco World International Berhad.
  • Acted for Maybank International Labuan Branch as the financier of a Commodity Murabahah Term Financing-i Facility granted to UEM Sunrise (MacKenzie Street Development) Pty.
  • Advised Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd as on the issuance of commercial papers and/or medium term notes with a combined limit of up to RM3.0bn in nominal value.

Zul Rafique & Partners

With experience handling a range of domestic and cross-border transactions, Zul Rafique & Partners' banking and finance practice group advises on a wide range of structures involving various Shariah principles. Practice head Loh Mei Mei – who has recently been particularly active in advising Islamic banks on project finance transactions – Kung Suan Im, Ashela Ramaya, Chan Kwan Hoe and Celine Rangithan, all have broad practices and experience in transactions in the bank lending space and debt capital markets.

Practice head(s):

Loh Mei Mei

Key clients

Maxis Berhad

Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad

Measat Satelite Systems Sdn Bhd

Standard Chartered Bank Group

Maybank Group

Bank of China (Malaysia) Berhad

Affin Group

HSBC Group

CIMB Bank Group

OCBC Group (OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad, OCBC Al-Amin Berhad, Oversea-Chinese Banking Limited Corporation, Labuan Branch)

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

  • Acted for AmBank Islamic Berhad and OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad, as financiers, in Asaljuru Weida Sdn Bhd’s financing to upgrade Hospital Umum, Sarawak.
  • Advised Maybank Investment Bank Berhad as arranger in Uzma Integrasi Padu Sdn Bhd’s Islamic medium term notes programme of up to RM1bn in nominal value pursuant to the Shariah principle of Wakalah bi Al-Istithmar.
  • Assisted Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad with its Sukuk programme of RM10bn in nominal value under the Shariah principle of Murabahah.
  • Acted for the financiers — 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, which included separate financing to four separate companies.

Kadir Andri & Partners

The banking and finance practice at Kadir Andri & Partners has expertise advising lenders, arrangers, borrowers, and issuers on Shariah-compliant corporate financing transactions; it recently advised Asia Finance Bank on its RM2bn-structured covered Sukuk murabahahThe group includes highly-experienced practice head Andri Badri and managing associate Choy Ling Siew, who recently joined from Rahmat Lim & Partners.

Practice head(s):

Andri Aidham Badri

Other key lawyers:

Choy Ling Siew

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

  • Advised Asia Finance Bank Berhad on its issuance of a structured covered sukuk murabahah facility of up to RM2bn in nominal valued.

Mohamed Ridza & Co

Known for its expertise in corporate and financing transactions, Mohamed Ridza & Co is instructed by a range of clients, including local and international financial institutions, borrowers and real estate vendors, on Islamic finance matters. Its experience spans from drafting corporate financing documents, setting up of various Shariah-compliant products and providing solutions and alternatives structures to preparing bulk retail financing documents. Practice head Mohamed Ridza Abdullah has experience advising on Islamic banking and finance and issuance of Islamic private securities. Other name to note include Hafidah Aman Hashim and Sharifah Shafika Alsagoff who have particular experience in financing transactions and capital markets respectively.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Ridza Abdullah

Testimonials

Provide a prompt response on advising the issue and task given to them. They are able to complete the task within the timeline given with good quality of work and are able to work under pressure and attend on the issue given with a practical solution.

Ms Shafiqa and Ms Shazana have been a good support for our organisation especially on banking regulation matters.

Mohamed Ridza is always available 24/7 when we need quick advice and legal support.

Hafidah AMan Hashim is knowledgeable and understands the need of the client and able to work on a very specific strict dateline.’

Key clients

Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Berhad

MBSB Bank Berhad

CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad

Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad

Hong Leong Islamic Bank

AmBank Islamic Berhad

Malayan Banking Berhad group

RHB Bank Berhad group

HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad

MBSB Bank Berhad

OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad

Public Bank Berhad

Standard Chartered Bank Berhad

Work highlights

  • Assisting Malaysia Building Society Berhad with the conversion of its existing conventional loans to Islamic facilities.
  • Acted for Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Berhad  on its commodity murabahah term financing-i facility of up to RM1.2m  to Energetic Point Sdn Bhd.
  • Advising a client on an additional RM5m limit to an existing Islamic facility granted to its customer.

Shearn Delamore & Co

The financial services group at Shearn Delamore & Co, which counts Malaysian and multinational financial institutions and corporations among its clients, has experience advising on Shariah-compliant transactions and drafting template Islamic financing documents for banks. The group has also developed a niche in advising on the regulation of derivatives. Practice head Christina Kow and Pamela Kung both have experience in a range of Islamic and conventional banking and finance and capital market transactions.

Practice head(s):

Christina Kow

Other key lawyers:

Pamela Kung

Key clients

S P Setia Berhad

Affin Islamic Bank Berhad

HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad

OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad

Malayan Islamic Banking Berhad

PT Synergy Oil Nusantara

Work highlights

  • Acted for the finance parties — which include The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Offshore Banking Unit, Labuan as lead arranger and financier and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited as facility agent and security agent— on the grant of banking facilities of up to USD300m granted to Setia International Limited.
  • Advised Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad term loan facility of up to RM203m granted to KL Eco City Sdn Bhd for purposes of part project financing for the construction of a hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

Shook Lin & Bok

The Islamic banking and finance group at Shook Lin & Bok has experience advising across retail financing, mezzanine financing and debt capital markets. The team is led by Jalalullail Othman, who focuses on corporate finance, and includes Mei Lin Khong, whose clients benefits from her broad banking and finance experience.

Practice head(s):

Jalalullail Othman

Other key lawyers:

Khong Mei Lin

Wong & Partners

The banking and financing team at Wong & Partners offers commercial and technical advice on Shari'ah compliant products and, as a member firm, benefits from the Baker McKenzie network, which it is able to leverage in cross-border matters. Practice group head Mark Lim has experience handling complex transactions for local and international financial institutions and major corporations. Other names to note include Esther Chik, who led the advice to OCBC Al-Amin Bank and CIMB Bank on the first known Islamic finance transaction in Cambodia.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lim

Other key lawyers:

Esther Chik

Key clients

Maybank Group

CIMB Group

RHB Banking Group

Export-Import Bank of Malaysia

S P Setia

Press Metal

Work highlights

  • Acted for Maybank Islamic Berhad on the commodity Murabahah term financing-i facility of USD100m granted to Press Metal Bintulu Sdn Bhd.
  • Advised Maybank Investment Bank Berhad and AmInvestment Bank Berhad, who acted as  joint principal advisers and joint lead arrangers, on Yinson TMC Sdn Bhd’s sukuk mudharabah programme of up to MYR1.5bn in combined nominal value.
  • Assisted Maybank Islamic Berhad with a commodity murabahah term financing-i facility of up to AUD61.75m made available to MRCB Project Carnegie Pty. Ltd.
  • Advised the lead arrangers and the original financiers, OCBC Al-Amin Bank and CIMB Bank, on the USD53m project financing facility to Pestech Cambodia which was the first known Islamic financing for Cambodia.

Azmi & Associates

Azmi & Associates is instructed in a range of debt or equity financing work with experience both advising on transactions and developing Islamic finance structures. Ahmad Lutfi Abdull Mutalip heads the practice which includes Ahmad Syahir Yahya, who has particular experience developing common Islamic banking documentation based on the Shariah concepts of Murabahah, Tawarruq, Musyarakah, Bai’ Sarf and Ijarah.

Practice head(s):

Ahmad Lutfi Abdull Mutalip

Other key lawyers:

Ahmad Syahir Yahya

Naqiz & Partners

The banking and finance team at Naqiz & Partners is often instructed by banks in both conventional and Islamic finance transactions, and has particular experience in project finance. Practice head Shamshul Iskandar Zulkifli has experience in Islamic finance and private debt securities.

Practice head(s):

Shamshul Iskandar Zulkifli

HL Lee & Co

The banking and finance practice at HL Lee & Co is instructed by Malaysian financial institutions in conventional and Islamic financing transactions. Ng King Hoe heads up the team which includes Ng Lay Lay San.

Practice head(s):

Ng King Hoe

Other key lawyers:

Ng Lay San

Work highlights

  • Advised a major Islamic financial institution in Malaysia on the term loan facility of RM9m to a leading jewellery company in Malaysia to part-finance its purchase of two factories for its business.