KUALA LUMPUR: The pricing for a Panda Bonds issuance by Malaysia is still not attractive, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said.
Lim said talks on the potential issuance were ongoing, adding that the government needed to get the right bond rate before deciding on how much to be raised.
"Once we get the right rate for the Panda bonds, then only I'll bring this up for discussion at the Cabinet meeting," he told reporters at the opening of the Malaysia-China Belt & Road Economic Cooperation Forum 2019 here yesterday.
The forum was co-organised by Silk Road Business Council (SRBC), Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC), Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) and Malaysia-China Business Council.
Last month, Lim flew to Beijing to meet his counterpart Liu Kun along with senior management of several banks from China Development Bank, China Construction Bank and The People's Bank Of China.
It was reported that while China's economy was facing tightening liquidity, there was still a possibility to negotiate a low coupon rate in the Chinese capital market.
When tabling the 2019 Budget in Parliament last year, Lim said as a result of high national debts left behind by the previous government, the country’s debt service charges were projected to rise to RM33 billion or 12.6 per cent of public revenue in 2019 from RM30.88 billion in 2018.
So, Malaysia is seeking to borrow money, on a long-term basis, to reduce some of the government's high interest debt servicing burden and finance projects with reasonable returns.
Earlier this year, Lim had secured Japanese lenders' trust in Malaysia’s 10-year 200 billion yen (about RM7.6 billion) Samurai bonds that was issued at a 0.65 per cent coupon rate.
Lim reiterated that Malaysia and China have set up a "special channel" for investors of both countries to boost bilateral investments.
"This special channel would serve as an inquiry and problem-solving platform, he said, adding the channel would enable smoother investment process and eventually encouraged more investments from businessmen of both sides.
“We hoped to see more investment flows, namely; Malaysians investing in China and the Chinese investing here in Malaysia," he added.