Malaysia's 1MDB plans $1.25b IPO: Report

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd plans to raise about US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion) through a public listing of its power assets in Malaysia next year, Dow Jones Newswires has reported.

The proposed initial public offering is the latest in a string of announced or rumoured listings that could return Malaysia to the ranks of top regional IPO markets.

The funds raised through the share sale will help pay off some of the debts of the Malaysian investment company, Dow Jones said in its report on Monday, quoting people familiar with the plans.

Government-owned investor 1MDB has bought several power plants since last year, including Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan's power generation business for US$2.7 billion and Genting Bhd's domestic energy operations for 2.3 billion ringgit (S$923 million), Dow Jones said.

1MDB is a strategic investment company focused on spurring development in key economic sectors.

Malaysian companies raised billions in share sales last year, making the country Southeast Asia's top IPO market by deal value, as big issues capitalised on a rising share index and optimism over government plans to spur the economy.

Activity cooled in recent months, however, as investors held their breath in the run-up to hard-fought May 5 elections, but the 56-year-old ruling coalition once again retained power, promising policy continuity.

At least a half-dozen new IPOs have been reported or are in the works, including that of Malaysian budget long-haul carrier AirAsia X, which has said it plans to raise more than US$400 million in a listing July 10.