SINGAPORE: The Malaysian government has received a suggestion to float a retail bond akin to that of Temasek Holdings in the republic as an aggressive way to help trim the country’s RM1 trillion debt.
At a “Malaysia A New Dawn: Dialogue With Malaysia Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng” here on Sunday night, a member of the audience working here came with the idea, and gave an assurance that it would be well subscribed.
“As the Minister of Finance, would you consider a retail bond for all of us working in Singapore..people who have ample Singapore dollars.. we will subscribe,” the individual, from Penang, asked.
He also said the government needed to take some fairly aggressive steps to bring down the costs to it.
His suggestion received a round of applause by about 200 Malaysians who attended the dialogue held at Nexus Auditorium of Cuppage Plaza here.
In replying to the suggestion, Lim who was here to meet with rating agencies and investors, said he would prefer to have the bond in Malaysia.
“There is a quite high liquidity in Malaysia. There is high demand for papers. We don’t mind you participating in it in Malaysia,” he added.
He also noted that not only in the bond market, but ‘there are a lot of opportunities’ in other areas in Malaysia for Malaysians working overseas.
“We welcome you. Malaysia is open for business.. not just government-led businesses, but collaborative efforts,” said Lim.
It was reported that Temasek Holdings had upsized its S$400 million bond offer by S$100 million following strong demand for its first retail bonds.
Temasek received valid applications amounting to S$1.68 billion for the retail tranche, representing a subscription rate of about five times the final public offer size of S$300 million.
In jest, Lim who will fly to Hong Kong said, “when you talk about money I will get excited. If you have ample Singapore dollars, please convert it into the ringgit.”
In the almost two-hour long dialogue, apart from receiving suggestions, he was composed in fielding more than 15 questions centered, among others, on the 2019 Budget. — Bernama
Source: Borneo Post Online