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Billionaire Krishnan Said to Weigh $1.9 Billion of Islamic Bonds

Malaysian Billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan
Malaysian billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan is seen in this 2011 file photo. Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg

Malaysian billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan is seeking to lower costs for his telecommunications business by selling about 6 billion ringgit ($1.9 billion) of Islamic bonds, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Binariang GSM Sdn., which controls mobile-phone companies including Malaysia’s Maxis Bhd. and India’s Aircel Ltd., will decide whether to proceed before the end of the year, said the person who asked not to be named as the details are private.

Ananda Krishnan is Malaysia’s second-richest man with estimated assets totaling $8.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Binariang GSM last sold sukuk, or debt that pays returns on assets to comply with the Koran’s ban on interest, in December 2007 to fund a buyout of Maxis Communications Bhd.

Binariang is rated A2 by RAM Rating Services Bhd., the sixth-highest investment grade. The company last sold Islamic bonds six years ago with maturities of five to 50 years. It issued 2017 securities at a coupon rate of 6.1 percent and 15-year notes at 7.1 percent. Average yields on top-rated Malaysian companies were 4.38 percent, compared with 2007’s average of 4.61 percent, according to a central bank index.

Chan Chee Beng, a director at Kuala Lumpur-based Binariang GSM, couldn’t be reached by telephone today and didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail request for comments.

The Bloomberg-AIBIM Bursa Malaysia Corporate Sukuk Index, which tracks the most-traded local-currency notes, gained 2.6 percent this year to 104.97, the highest level since its inception in February 2012.

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