TMW Lion, a subsidiary of German concern TMW Asia Property Fund, plans to become the first European issuer to tap Malaysia's domestic securitization market. TMW will issue M$190 million ($50.6 million) of Sukuk Ijarah lease-backed notes through the Focal Quality SPV, with OCBC Bank on board as arranger.

TMW, managed by Prudential Real Estate, invests solely in Asian real estate on behalf of German institutional investors. The fund is taking advantage of the relaxation of foreign exchange controls in April this year by Bank Negara. Previously, there were strict rules on foreign companies taking Ringgit outside Malaysia, an attempt by the central bank to prevent the kind of currency speculation that hit economies such as Thailand's during the Asian financial crisis.

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