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Malaysia's 1MDB to raise US$3b in IPO

Sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd has said it plans to raise more than $3 billion by listing its energy assets, in what would be the country's second biggest initial public offering (IPO).

KUALA LUMPUR: Sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd has said it plans to raise more than $3 billion by listing its energy assets, in what would be the country's second biggest initial public offering (IPO).

The state-backed investor said Thursday it had "commenced activities" to list on Bursa Malaysia in the fourth quarter of the year.

The proceeds from the offering will go towards funding future growth and parts of the company's outstanding debt, 1MDB said.

But analysts have cast doubt on the long-term prospects of the stock, pointing to uncertainty over its ability to service its high debt, which stood at $37 billion ($11.6 billion) by the end of March 2013.

However, 1MDB says its debts are backed by operational assets "with healthy cash flows and strong growth potential".

Ooi Chin Hock, a dealer with Malaysia's M&A Securities, on Friday told AFP: "This IPO is of national interest so definitely the government will want to make it a success."

The fund owns 16 power and desalination plants in Malaysia, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

Germany's Deutsche Bank and Malaysia's Maybank have been appointed as 1MDB's joint global coordinators for the IPO, while Goldman Sachs is the advisor, the company said.

Malaysia, Southeast Asia's third-largest economy, has seen a flurry of big listings in the past two years.

Palm oil giant Felda Global Ventures raised a record $3.25 billion in 2012, helping the country's stock market the world's fifth-largest for IPOs that year.

Another palm oil giant, IOI Corp, raised $570 million by spinning off its property business and listing it in January.

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