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Malaysia's Malakoff to start taking orders for IPO on April 17 -sources

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 (Reuters) - Malakoff Corporation Bhd (IPO-MALB.KL), Malaysia's largest independent power producer, will start taking orders on April 17 for its 2.74 billion ringgit ($752.44 million) initial public offering (IPO), people with knowledge of the share sale said.

Malaysia's biggest IPO so far in a year of few deals comes as companies more susceptible to significant volatility in energy prices and the ringgit opt against embarking on IPOs, for fear the volatility could lead to their firms being valued less.

If the IPO reaches the targeted amount and the shares rise on their debut, then that is likely to raise the prospects for other large listings in the near term, analysts said.

State investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd plans an IPO this year for Edra Global Energy Bhd - the country's second-largest independent power firm - which could raise as much as $3 billion, making it one of Southeast Asia's biggest-ever deals.

Malakoff, a subsidiary of conglomerate MMC Corporation Bhd , is likely to list on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange on May 15, said the people, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak with media on the matter.

"The official book building range will be known by then," said one of the people, referring to April 17.

Malakoff was not immediately available to comment.

Proceeds of the IPO will be used to fund Malakoff's growth as well as cut MMC's debt and improve its capital structure, showed a draft prospectus filed in January to the Malaysian Securities Commission.

MMC, in a March 14 circular, said it expects Malakoff's market value to be 9 billion ringgit based on an illustrative retail price of 1.80 ringgit a share.

The sale will comprise 1.52 billion shares, with 84 percent for institutional investors and the rest for retail investors, according to the draft prospectus.

At least nine cornerstone investors - including Corston-Smith Asset Management, Eastspring Investments and Pilgrims Fund Board - will buy about 30 percent of the total offering, people with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

Maybank will act as the IPO's transaction manager as well as joint global co-ordinator with CIMB, Credit Suisse and JP Morgan. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and RHB will be joint bookrunners. ($1 = 3.6415 ringgit) (Reporting by Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Christopher Cushing)