Thursday 18 Apr 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (April 28): Lembaga Tabung Haji, which has subscribed to RM600 million worth of sukuk issued by Menara ABS Bhd (MABS), said it is in discussions with various sukuk holders amid the issuer’s failure to redeem its sukuk in January.  

The pilgrim fund is also in discussions with Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), which wants to end its lease in MABS-owned Menara TM in Bangsar, said Tabung Haji chief executive officer Datuk Seri Amrin Awaluddin.

“The decision of Telekom Malaysia to vacate the building, of course, will have an impact on Tabung Haji. But at this point of time, we are still in discussion with various sukuk holders and also Telekom Malaysia.

“It will have an impact, but we are hopeful for [a] positive outcome,” he said at a press conference to announce Tabung Haji’s profit distribution for 2022.

MABS reportedly defaulted on the outstanding Tranche A of its sukuk (RM345 million) and Tranche C (RM500 million), both of which matured on Jan 13.

Tabung Haji subscribed to RM500 million in Tranche C and RM100 million in Tranche A, according to its annual report. The Employees Provident Fund is also a sukuk holder, Amrin said.

Amid MABS’ default, RAM Ratings in January reported that cashflow to redeem the Tranche A sukuk was intended to come from either the refinancing of the sukuk, asset disposal or the “provision of special funding by Tranche C sukukholders” — namely Tabung Haji.

Aside from Menara TM, MABS owned three other buildings — Menara TM Semarak, TM Taman Desa, and TM Cyberjaya.

The provision of special funding is contingent on MABS securing buyers for the assets, according to people with knowledge on the matter.

It is understood that MABS had disposed of TM Taman Desa and TM Cyberjaya, and has since partly redeemed some of the Tranche A sukuk. It was speaking to prospective buyers for Menara TM and Menara TM Semarak as at February.

MABS is a trust-owned special purpose vehicle sponsored by TM which was formed to facilitate the securitisation of the four properties.

In 2008, TM raised RM1 billion from the off-balance sheet based asset securitisation that involved the sale and leaseback of the four buildings to MABS.

Under the initial agreement, TM had the option to buy back the assets or extend the lease.

Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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