Khazanah Nasional Bhd., Malaysia's state investment arm, sold $850 million of Islamic bonds that can be converted into shares of the country's biggest toll-road operator in the nation's biggest offer of convertible securities.
Khazanah increased the sale of the five-year exchangeable bonds from $600 million because it received orders for 13 times the amount of debt on offer, the company said in a statement late yesterday. The investment unit owns about 24 percent of PLUS Expressways Bhd., the toll-road company. Khazanah, overhauling its assets to boost returns and draw foreign investment, is using demand for Islamic assets to ease state control over the country's biggest companies. PLUS, whose North-South Expressway runs the length of Malaysia, has reported three years of profit growth and this month agreed to buy two more highways from its parent.
Demand for the bonds ``reflects investor confidence in PLUS as a concession holder,'' said Mak Hoy Ken, an analyst at AmResearch Sdn., who has a ``buy'' rating on PLUS shares. ``It's a combination of organic growth and acquisition growth.''