Malaysia's $40 billion sovereignwealth fund Khazanah Nasional plans to issue a sukukworth up to one billion ringgit ($279.17 million) to help fundschools, its managing director said on Thursday. Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of an Islamic financeevent in London, the fund's head Azman Mokhtar said the planned"social impact sukuk" is awaiting regulatory approval fromMalaysian financial regulators.
The move is aimed at opening funding for education to abroad pool of investors rather than financing it out of its ownreserves, he added.
"The objective for us is not really fund raising. We couldfund this ourselves. This is to open it up to others," he said,adding approval could come within two months.
Mokhtar said "a lot of charitable organisations, familyoffices and trusts" wanted to participate in the fundraising andthis had helped prompt Khazana into setting up the sukuk ratherthan using its own money.
Khazanah announced in January that during 2014 it posted a7.7 percent increase in the value of its assets, which includestakes in some of Malaysia's largest listed firms, includingmobile services provider Axiata Group and propertyfirm UEM Sunrise.