PETALING JAYA (Feb 6, 2014): CIMB Investment Bank Bhd and Maybank Investment Bank Bhd maintained top spots in Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd's (MARC) 2013 lead managers' league tables. In a statement yesterday, MARC said CIMB Investment claimed top spot based on issue value while Maybank Investment was in pole position based on issue count. It said this marks CIMB Investment's second consecutive year at the top of the issue-value league table with RM14.9 billion while Maybank Investment came in second with RM10.4 billion and AmInvestment Bank Bhd in third with RM2.2 billion. In the issue-count league table, it said Maybank Investment topped the list with seven issues, followed by CIMB Investment and RHB Investment Bank Bhd with five and three issues, respectively. In 2013, it said, MARC rated 17 new issuances with total debt size of RM31.0 billion, compared with 11 issuances totalling RM37.5 billion in 2012. Islamic bonds or sukuk again dominated the issuance of rated fixed-income securities, comprising 60.4% of the total issue value and 58.8% of the total issue count rated by MARC in 2013. Noteworthy MARC-rated issuances in the year were CIMB Bank Bhd's RM10.0 billion Basel III-compliant Tier-2 Subordinated Debt Programme, Malakoff Power Bhd's RM5.38 billion sukuk murabahah, Konsortium Lebuhraya Utara-Timur (KL) Sdn Bhd's RM2.3 billion sukuk usharakah, Kapar Energy Ventures Sdn Bhd's RM2.0 billion sukuk ijarah and TNB Northern Energy Bhd's RM1.6 billion sukuk. MARC said issue-value credit is given to lead managers based on the agreed credit-sharing arrangement among lead arrangers for jointly arranged programmes while issue-count credit is given equally to lead managers for jointly arranged programmes. MARC expects gross newly rated bonds/sukuk issuance volume to be in the range of RM45 billion to RM55 billion in 2014. Together with unrated private debt securities of an expected RM15 billion-RM20 billion, MARC forecasts a total of RM60 billion-RM75 billion of new private debt securities will be issued this year. MARC anticipates rated issuance volume in 2014 to moderate on the back of subdued domestic economic trends and the uncertainties engendered by the pace of tapering of the US bond-purchase programme. The rating agency also expects domestic bond issuance to emanate predominantly from the companies involved in infrastructure, and oil and gas sectors given the significant continuous focus on these sectors as key drivers of growth under the Economic Transformation Programme. It said other sectors that could witness potential significant bond-issuance activities are real estate and construction. MARC's forecast assumes the current credit-spread trend and the low interest-rate environment will prevail, although the rating agency has factored a 25-bps rise in Bank Negara Malaysia's overnight policy rate to 3.25%.