Templeton favours local firms on recovery

Franklin Templeton Investments and ECM Libra Financial Group Bhd say they are favouring Malaysian corporate sukuk, which has outperformed as the Federal Reserve considers ending stimulus. Corporate sukuk benefits from a higher degree of scarcity than for government debt. Sales of Malaysian-currency Islamic bonds fell 63 per cent to RM19.9 billion in 2013 from the year-earlier period, worsening the lack of supply. Company bond offers in the Southeast Asian nation, including sukuk and non-Islamic notes, will total RM70 billion to RM85 billion in 2013. However, corporate bond market issuance is expected to remain relatively strong in the second half as the yield curve will likely steepen beyond 2013. Malaysian corporate sukuk are considered less volatile and they provide some yield pick-up over government bonds.