Posted Date : 28 Oct 2014

Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad (MARC) was named the Best Islamic Rating Agency 2014 by the Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA). MARC’s Chief Executive Officer, Mohd Razlan Mohamed, received the award at the GIFA gala dinner awards ceremony held in Dubai on Monday, 27 October 2014, in conjunction with the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) 2014 week. 

The award is a testament to MARC’s quality coverage of rated Sukuk in our domestic Malaysian market, which is also the largest Sukuk market in the world, accounting for more than 60% of outstanding global Sukuk issued in the year to date. The award also recognises MARC’s active role in the development and growth of Islamic finance and promoting governance at Shariah-compliant institutions.

“It is a tremendous honour for MARC to receive this prestigious award in the category of Best Islamic Rating Agency from GIFA. We are privileged to have participated in the development of the global Sukuk market and its stellar growth over the years through our role as a trusted arbiter of risk,” said Razlan. “This award will further spur the team at MARC to push the boundaries of excellence in ratings of Islamic instruments and Islamic finance research,” he added. 

Since commencing operations in June 1996, MARC has provided ratings on a wide range of Shariah-compliant issuances by both domestic and foreign companies in the Ringgit-denominated Sukuk market. MARC’s rating coverage extends to corporate and structured finance Sukuk, project finance Sukuk and Shariah-compliant banking and insurance institutions. MARC has completed 715 ratings, accounting for about USD140.6 billion (RM450 billion) in issuance value as at 31 August 2014. 

Among MARC’s key initiatives to support the growth and development of Islamic finance are introducing the first set of Shariah-based rating scales and rating the world’s first global Sukuk, Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd’s USD150 million Sukuk Ijarah in 2002. The world’s first Sukuk using the Musharakah structure valued at USD694 million (RM2.5 billion) by Musyarakah One Capital Bhd in 2005 was also rated by MARC. Since then, MARC has provided insights on Sukuk rating through our publication entitled Rating Approach to Sukuk: A MARC Perspective which has become a key reference for Sukuk investors and issuers. 

Additionally, MARC’s rating offering introduced in 2010 called “Islamic Financial Institution Governance Ratings”, provides a structured assessment of the quality of institutional governance, acknowledging the significant role played by governance in an Islamic financial institution. In support of Islamic Development Bank’s (IDB) initiative to create a sustainable and dedicated Islamic credit rating institution, MARC has remained, since 2011, a committed technical partner to IDB-initiated Bahrain-based Islamic International Rating Agency.

Over the years, MARC has rated many innovative Sukuk instruments and structures. Among the notable Sukuk that are rated by MARC include:

  • Projek Lebuhraya Usahasama Berhad’s (PLUS) USD7.3 billion (RM23.35 billion) Sukuk Musharakah Programme, issued in 2012 and remains to date the largest rated Sukuk issuance by a single entity in the world.
  • Jimah East Power Sdn Bhd’s USD2.6 billion (RM8.4 billion) Sukuk Murabahah Programme, the largest rated Sukuk to be issued by a single entity in Malaysia for the year 2014 to date.
  • Aman Sukuk Berhad’s USD3.1 billion (RM10.0 billion) Islamic Medium Term Notes Programme
  • Malakoff Power Berhad’s USD1.7 billion (RM5.4 billion) Sukuk Murabahah Programme
  • CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad’s USD1.6 billion (RM5.0 billion) Basel III-compliant Tier 2 Junior Sukuk Programme
  • Sime Darby Berhad’s USD1.4 billion (RM4.5 billion) Islamic Medium Term Notes Programme
  • TNB Western Energy Berhad’s USD1.3 billion (RM4.0 billion) Sukuk

Global Islamic Finance Awards is one of the most prestigious awards in Islamic banking and finance. The inaugural GIFA award ceremony took place in November 2011 in the Sultanate of Oman, where former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi received the prestigious "Global Leadership in Islamic Finance Award" in recognition of his efforts in developing enabling infrastructure for Islamic banking and finance in Malaysia. 

This year, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak received the award on behalf of Malaysia as the winner of the “Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award 2014 (Country)”.

James Foo, +603-2082 2212/ james@marc.com.my