1Malaysia Development

Global calls for Najib's head to roll: #1MDB triggers massive shake-up in financial world

#Malaysia could find fame for triggering a new, more effective level of regulatory cooperation between the financial centres of the world. This can be the positive result from landing at the centre of the world’s biggest money-laundering investigation. Investigators are working closely to trace the US$7 bn gone missing from the 1MDB fund into a network of off-shore companies before emerging once again in the bank accounts of politically connected Malaysians. Meanwhile, the Government of Malaysia is continuing to act as if nothing has happened. Prime Minister Najib has been impeding investigations at home, but worldwide he is a smaller player. His political connections cannot save him from the independent justice departments of the various financial centres involved.

#Malaysia 1MDB scandal: Prime minister's brother Nazir Razak cleared of wrongdoing by CIMB bank

Nazir Razak, the brother of Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by an independent investigation undertaken by CIMB Group. Nazir voluntarily took a leave of absence to allow an independent review to be carried out after it was revealed that he had transferred cash to the ruling coalition's politicians in the run-up to the Malaysian general elections in 2013. Although he admitted to transferring the money, Nazir insisted he did nothing illegal. Nazir has now resumed his role as CIMB Group chairman and CIMB Bank director.

#Singapore charges ex-BSI banker with forgery in 1MDB-linked probe

Singapore charged a former wealth manager at Swiss private bank with forgery as part of a money laundering investigation related to 1Malaysia Development. The forgery charge is the seventh filed against Yeo Jiawei, a 33-year-old Singaporean banker. While the charges didn't mention 1MDB by name, they stem from investigations into the fund's money flows. The prosecutors charged Yeo with "fraudulently" signing a reference letter to the head of anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance of Citigroup Inc in Europe.

Hong Kong bank funds said frozen in 1MDB probe by #Singapore and other authorities

Hong Kong bank accounts belonging to several unnamed individuals have been frozen amid global investigations into the finances of the Malaysian state fund 1MDB. Owners are being probed by authorities in countries outside of Malaysia. Authorities in Singapore charged two men following investigations into their dealings with the fund. A Malaysian parliamentary committee had identified at least US$4.2 billion of irregular transactions by the fund.

1MDB gatecrashes party for new Malaysian sukuk

The Federation of Malaysia returned to the international bond markets on Wednesday with a $1.5 billion wakala sukuk. However, this success is overshadowed by 1MDB's $11 billion debt after one of its guarantors failed to make a $50 million interest payment on a $1.75 billion note that matures in 2022. It has now entered a grace period, which ends on April 25.

Malaysia's Global Sukuk Seen Paying Premium Over Existing Debt

Malaysia may price its 10- and 30-year global Islamic bonds at 150 and 165 basis points over U.S. Treasuries. The data compiled by Bloomberg show that Malaysia’s existing sukuk maturing in 2025 yield 3.05 percent, while securities due in 2045 are paying 3.96 percent. According to Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund International Petroleum Investment 1MDB and Malaysia’s finance ministry are in credit-default, but the state firm’s President Arul Kanda said the company is in dispute with IPIC and he sees an amicable resolution.

Singapore central bank asks banks to provide details of 1MDB-linked dealings

Singapore's central bank has asked financial institutions to provide details of any transactions linked to Malaysian state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) as part of its probe into possible money-laundering in the city state. The statement came late Thursday after it was reported earlier this week that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has reportedly asked close to 40 banks with a presence in Singapore to provide information linked to 1MDB. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and National Australia Bank (NAB) are believed to be among those queried. ANZ and NAB both declined to comment.

Rafizi: 1MDB's Bandar M'sia sale violated sukuk agreement

1MDB's recent sale of its 60 percent stake in the Bandar Malaysia development project is in violation of the terms for the sukuk Islamic bonds it issued to finance the relocation of several air force bases, PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli claims. This, he said in a statement today, is based on pages 30 and 32 of the agreement. Rafizi pointed out that under Item 2(w)(i)(12) of the RM2.4 billion sukuk issuance agreement, Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd (BMSB) – "the issuer" – must remain as the wholly-owned subsidiary of 1MDB. The sale, Rafizi argued, is now a major snag to one of the main pillars of the 1MDB debt rationalisation initiative. He vowed to continue with his crusade, for as long as there is no clear answer or remedy from 1MDB.

Unhappy, Rafizi wants 1MDB to explain use of sukuk fund

Unsatisfied with 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) explanation, PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli today challenged the company to disclose details on how it used the sukuk funds. He said 1MDB last night failed to address his main query, which was what had happened to the RM1.6 billion from the RM2.4 billion sukuk issued through Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd in 2014. 1MDB yesterday denied Rafizi's remarks and insisted the RM2.4 billion sukuk had been utilised in accordance with its agreement. 1MDB reportedly said the sukuk had been used to partly finance the relocation of the air force base at Sungai Besi, pre-fund the fees and expenses of the sukuk programme, fund the requisite financing reserve accounts, and fund the working capital requirements of 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd (now known as TRX City Sdn Bhd).

What did 1MDB spend its RM1.6 billion sukuk on, ?asks Rafizi

About RM1.6 million of the RM2.4 billion sukuk 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)? issued through Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd in 2014 remains unaccounted for, says PKR's Rafizi Ramli. The RM2.4 billion sukuk was issued to pay for the relocation of the army base on Bandar Malaysia land, said Rafizi. Yet the state investment arm announced that the consortium purchasing 60% equity in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd may assume 60% of the remaining RM1.9 billion cost of relocation of the Pangkalan Udara Kuala Lumpur (PUKL) relocation?. The total relocation cost of PUKL had actually been RM2.7 billion, so only RM800 million of the sukuk had been used so far to pay for PUKL's relocation costs, said Rafizi.

Malaysia sukuk sale lures weakest demand in 2015 on 1MDB concern

Malaysia attracted the weakest demand at a sovereign sukuk auction in almost eight months amid concern it will need to bail out state-owned investment company 1Malaysia Development. The Treasury sold 3.5 billion ringgit ($916 million) of Shariah-compliant bonds due October 2025 to yield 4.105 percent on Thursday. The bid-to-cover ratio of 1.85 was the lowest since Dec. 5. Prime Minister Najib Razak removed his deputy Tuesday as he seeks to head off a public rift within his cabinet over his handling of financial probes into debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd. The entity’s borrowings totaled 41.9 billion ringgit ($11 billion) at the end of March 2014.

CIMB Islamic CEO quitting adds to 1MDB cloud over sukuk sales

The resignation of Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, the chief executive officer of CIMB Group Holdings Bhd’s Islamic unit, added to clouds over Malaysia’s sukuk market, amid a probe into a state investment company and a renewed global commodity rout. He said that he resigned “to explore new opportunities”, declining to comment on speculation the decision was related to the investigation of 1Malaysia Development Bhd. CIMB, Malaysia’s lead Islamic bond underwriter for the past eight years, will now have to find and groom a replacement just as sukuk sales in the world’s biggest market dropped 36% in 2015 to a five-year low. Political uncertainty caused by the probes, falling commodity prices and a looming US interest-rate increase may deter issuers.

What’s known, unknown in money trail to Najib’s accounts

A special task force comprising the Attorney-General's Chambers, police, anti-corruption authorities and Bank Negara is now probing the claim made by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on July 2. WSJ has posted documents on the money flow into Najib's accounts on the Internet to support its report. WSJ's report centres on some US$700 million (RM2.67 billion) funnelled into two of Najib's accounts at AmBank in Kuala Lumpur. The money was transferred in five separate deposits from two originating points. According to WSJ, the largest portion of the money – US$681 million – was transferred to Najib's accounts in March 2013, ahead of the May general election (GE13). Najib has denied taking funds for personal gain.

1MDB probe: PM Najib's bank accounts not frozen, already closed

The Malaysian Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) on July 9 said that six bank accounts, ordered frozen on Monday as part of a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) probe, were not linked to the prime minister, as his accounts with AmBank Islamic had already been closed by then. The task force is investigating allegations in a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that up to US$700 million from state-owned fund 1MDB had been transferred to Mr Najib for personal use. Mr Najib refuted the accusations in a statement on Wednesday, reiterating he had never obtained funds from 1MDB for his personal gain. The AGC also detailed items seized in a raid of the 1MDB office in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, including minutes of meetings of the 1MDB Board of Directors.

CIMB Islamic chief to face internal inquiry for erroneous remarks on WSJ’s 1MDB report

CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak has ordered an internal inquiry on a senior executive of its Islamic banking unit who yesterday accused US-based Wall Street Journal (WSJ) of being duped by doctored documents in its explosive money trail exposé on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Nazir disclosed the action in a late night post on his Instagram account, after news portal Malaysiakini reported CIMB Islamic Bank chief executive officer Badlisyah Abdul Ghani for his erroneous analysis on WSJ in his closed-circuit Facebook page. Badlisyah has admitted to making an error in his analysis of the WSJ documents, which the daily purports were based on an ongoing government investigation on 1MDB, adding that he has also corrected his initial Facebook post.

Cabinet backed RM5 billion sukuk, says 1MDB

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) today rebutted claims by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad saying that a cabinet paper was presented and approved for the issuance of a government guarantee RM5 billion sukuk by Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA). TIA was renamed 1MDB in 2009 after the federal government took over. In a statement today, 1MDB also said that the guarantee was not off-budget, and that Putrajaya was fully liable for the amount it had guaranteed. 1MDB also denied Dr Mahathir's claim that the RM2 billion loan it obtained from Ananda Krishnan was used to pay interest on its loans. It also questioned the "motivation" behind Dr Mahathir's allegations, which it said had numbers and figures changing every time.

Takaful confirms buying RM85 million 1MDB sukuk bond

Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Berhad has revealed that it bought a RM85 million Islamic bond from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in 2009, but the Islamic insurance company assured that the investment was low-risk. Takaful Malaysia group managing director Datuk Seri Mohamed Hassan Md Kamil said the bond was purchased from Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), which was 1MDB's previous incarnation. It was purchased at a coupon rate of 5.25% and will mature in 2039. The bond iis guaranteed by the government. Hassan said the sukuk only represented about 2% to 3% of its total asset base of RM7.1 billion. He said 1MDB had yet to redeem the bond.

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