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[ 24-04-2015 ]
AIF To Allocate 10 Per Cent Financing To Non-Sovereign Projects From 2017
KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 (Bernama) -- The ASEAN Infrastructure Fund (AIF) will allocate up to 10 per cent of its annual financing to non-sovereign projects in the region from 2017, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

In a statement Saturday, the minister said the AIF is also expected to raise additional funds from that year, by issuing debt that central banks in the region can purchase using foreign exchange reserves.

Currently, the AIF provides financing to sovereign or sovereign-guaranteed projects in the ASEAN region.

"As part of ASEAN's initiative in creating fiscal space, the member countries put aside some funds and established the AIF.

"This was to finance infrastructure development in the region with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as an equity partner and the AIF Administrator," said Ahmad Husni.

He added that the ADB co-financed every AIF project with a 70 per cent financing and 30 per cent coming from the fund.

Ultimately, Ahmad Husni said, the AIF funding for non-sovereign projects, with ADB co-financing, would help mitigate risks and encourage more private sector investments and public-private partnerships.

On Islamic finance, he said Malaysia had a well-developed legal and regulatory framework, robust shariah governance framework, facilitative tax framework and capability of local intermediaries in originating, arranging and distributing sukuk.

"The Malaysian sukuk market has attracted local and foreign issuers, including multilateral financial institutions in issuing Ringgit and foreign currency-denominated sukuk," said Ahmad Husni.

He noted that the sukuk market also played a pivotal role in financing the country's economic development, particularly to fund infrastructure projects, including construction of highways, power plants and airports.

Malaysia is a key marketplace for global sukuk issuances, whereby, the country accounts for 65.6 per cent of the total global sukuk issuances totalling US$77.9 billion.

Malaysia also accounted for 57.4 per cent of total global sukuk outstanding totaling US$172.8 billion in 2014.

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