Dr M to discuss Samurai bonds during Kyoto visit

Previous news reports said that Putrajaya and Tokyo were engaged in talks for a second Samurai bond issue after the success of the initial ¥200 billion (RM7.34 billion) 10-year secured bonds sold in March.

KYOTO: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is scheduled to meet Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC) Governor Tadashi Madae over Malaysia’s intention to procure a second issuance of the Samurai bond, during his three-day working visit here starting tomorrow.

The meeting, a request by JBIC, is set to take place on Sunday.

At a press conference, Malaysian ambassador to Japan, Datuk Kennedy Jawan said the request for the meeting was made via the Japanese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

“This is to provide them with an opportunity to explain in detail the possible issuance of a second Samurai bond,” Jawan said.

Last month, Dr Mahathir said the government was considering another issue of Samurai bonds using loans from Japan.

He explained that this was because the Japanese government was offering to finance this at a rate lower than the 0.65 per cent for the previous issue earlier this year.

In February, Putrajaya reintroduced yen-denominated government bonds to end the more than three decade-absence of Samurai bonds here.

Previous news reports said that Putrajaya and Tokyo were engaged in talks for a second Samurai bond issue after the success of the initial ¥200 billion (RM7.34 billion) 10-year secured bonds sold in March.

For the initial Samurai bond issuance, Mizuho Bank Ltd, HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd and Daiwa Capital Markets Ltd had collaborated with Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd as joint lead arrangers and bookrunners.

The bond was issued using funds from JBIC and was the largest such sovereign bond issuance in the market then.

On Saturday, the prime minister will be conferred an honorary doctorate to mark Japan’s admiration for his leadership.

Jawan said the Doshisha University would be conferring the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters during a special conferment ceremony tomorrow at the university.

Dr Mahathir will receive the honorary doctorate from the president of the 144-year-old Doshisha University, Takashi Matsuoka.

“This award is an honour and recognition of the leadership of Dr Mahathir by Japan academics. This will also boost the image of Malaysia and further enhance bilateral relations between the two countries,” he said.

Dr Mahathir will be the 68th recipient of this award. Other notable recipients included founder of Matsushita (now Panasonic), Konosuke Matsushita; and American economist Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, who is also the recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and the John Bates Clark Medal.

Dr Mahathir will also be visiting two companies tomorrow — semi-conductor company Towa Corporation and precision company Shimadzu Corporation.

Towa is planning to invest RM100 million to expand its operations in Batu Kawan, Penang.

On Sunday, Dr Mahathir will be visiting Ritsumeikan elementary school. Established in 2006, it is the only school in Japan which incorporates the use of traditional approach and modern technology in its teaching, in which students learn pottery and ICT lessons on robotics.

The prime minister will also attend a dinner with some 200 Malaysian students and other members of the Malaysian diaspora.

The visit marks Dr Mahathir’s sixth to Japan after becoming the seventh prime minister.

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