Esther Chik is a partner in the Finance & Projects Practice Group of Wong & Partners. She has been practicing law for more than 16 years. Prior to joining the Firm in 2010, she practiced in a number of law firms, had served as a foreign counsel in a Singaporean law firm and was also seconded in Baker McKenzie's Hong Kong office.
Esther was listed in Malaysia’s Top 100 Lawyers by Asia Business Law Journal in 2019, and has been regarded as a Leading Individual in Banking & Finance by Legal 500 Asia Pacific since 2018. Asialaw Profiles has also named her a Leading Lawyer from 2016 - 2019 and subsequently a Distinguished Practitioner since 2020 in Banking & Finance. She is also recognised by IFLR1000 as a Highly Regarded practitioner since 2020 in Banking and Project Finance.
Representative Legal Matters
- Advised Sime Darby Berhad in relation to a perpetual subordinated sukuk program of up to MYR 3 billion in nominal value under the Shariah principles of Wakalah Bi Al-Istithmar. This was the largest non-bank perpetual sukuk issuance in the world. This deal won the Corporate Finance Deal of the Year 2016 by Islamic Finance News Awards.
- Advised the lead arranger in relation to the issuance of a 10-year Sukuk Murabahah program of up to MYR 1.7 billion undertaken by BIMB Holdings Berhad (issuer) to partly finance the acquisition of the controlling stake of Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad from Dubai Financial Group LLC and Lembaga Tabung Haji. This issuance is part of the fund-raising exercise pursuant to the acquisition of Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad by the issuer, which included a rights issuance. The total value of the transaction is approximately USD 1.9 billion (MYR 6.3 billion). The deal was named the Equity Deal of the Year 2013 by Islamic Finance News and the Equity Market Deal of the Year 2014 by Asian Legal Business Malaysia Law Awards.
- Advised the Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC Bank as joint lead arrangers on a ringgit-denominated Sukuk issuance program under the Shariah principles of Murabahah of up to a maximum aggregate nominal value of MYR 1.5 billion established and undertaken by the Development Bank of Kazakhstan.
- Advised Maybank Investment Bank Berhad and AmInvestment Bank Berhad as joint lead arrangers in relation to an Islamic medium term notes (Sukuk) program of up to MYR 2 billion in nominal value under the Shariah principles of Musharakah established by one of Malaysia’s leading multi-cargo port operators.
- Represented the Maybank Investment Bank Berhad; Bank of China (Malaysia) Berhad; Standard Chartered Bank; Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Malaysia) Berhad (Labuan International Branch) in connection to the senior secured syndicated term loan facility of up to AUD 350 million granted to an Australian private company to part finance the development of Melbourne Square, a five-acre mixed-use development project located in Victoria, Melbourne, owned by Malaysian government-owned Employees Provident Fund and Bursa Malaysia-listed developer OSK Holdings.
- Represented TNBES Renewable Energy Sdn Bhd in respect of an Islamic banking facilities granted by RHB Islamic Bank Berhad to part finance the project costs for the development and construction of the Flemington and Hadapan biogas power plants. This deal was awarded the Infrastructure & Project Finance Deal of the Year 2016 and Malaysia Deal of the Year 2016 by Islamic Finance News Awards.
- Advised an international European bank (in its capacity as arranger, lender, agent and security agent) in relation to a non-recourse term loan facility granted to the borrower (a consortium between a European leading solar energy provider and an asset management and development company based out of US with a focus on renewable energy) to part finance the design, procurement, construction, operation, management and maintenance of a 30MWac solar photovoltaic electric generating power plant in East Malaysia. The plant is commissioned in connection with the second large-scale solar tender round run by the Energy Commission of Malaysia.
- Represented one of the largest palm oil plantation companies and palm oil producers in relation to a syndicated facility of up to USD 830 million granted by Mizuho Bank (Labuan), OCBC Bank (Labuan), Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (Labuan) and HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad to the client to finance the acquisition of New Britain Palm Oil Limited based in Papua, New Guinea.
- Represented Malayan Banking Berhad and CIMB Bank Berhad, Labuan Branch on banking facilities granted to a British Virgin Islands company to part finance its acquisition of an English retailing business group which owns a reputable toiletries brand. This is one of the very first transactions in Malaysia involving securitization of intellectual property as the borrower had leveraged on its intellectual property portfolios as a relevant source of funding and collaterals.
- Represented Mizuho Bank, Ltd, Labuan Branch in relation to a USD 300,000,000 term loan facility granted to the largest electric utility company in Malaysia and the largest power company in Southeast Asia to finance the acquisition by that company of 30% equity interest in a power and water infrastructure development company incorporated in Turkey.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Malaysia (2002)
- Staffordshire University (LL.B., (Hons)) (2000)
- Hong Kong