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Malaysians underestimate the damage caused by the 1MDB scandal

Posted on 25 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Forty thousand people wearing yellow shirts gathered in Malaysia’s capital on November 19th, to protest against corruption and impunity in government. The rally was orderly and restrained; the response of the authorities was not. On the eve of the protest, police arrested Maria Chin Abdullah, leader of a coalition of human-rights groups that organised the event.
She was placed in solitary confinement, and can be held there for 28 days. Even by Malaysia’s dismal recent standards this marked a fresh low. Ordinary Malaysians should not stand by while their leaders undermine the rule of law so casually………………………………….Full Article: Source

Moody’s affirms Kuwait Investment Company’s Ba2 rating; stable outlook

Posted on 24 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The affirmation primarily reflects Moody’s views that 1) the fundamental credit profile of KIC continues to reflect the company’s profitable business model, access to low cost deposits and a low level of net debt to equity, strengths that are counterbalanced by its high exposure to market risk, high level of debt compared to earnings and narrow asset management franchise, and that 2) KIC’s main shareholder, the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), will remain supportive of KIC during the planned divestiture process.
The stable outlook on KIC’s rating reflects Moody’s expectation that the divestiture process will take longer than expected and will likely not conclude before the end of 2017…………………………………Full Article: Source

1MDB: Ex-BS1 banker linked to Malaysian sovereign fund amassed wealth

Posted on 23 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Yeo Jiawei, a former BSI banker had amassed S$26m ($14.7m) in the 15 months after he left the Swiss private bank in Singapore, a court was told on Tuesday (22 November). Prior to that, Yeo’s net worth was only S$2m.
Prosecutors claim that the wealth Yeo had amassed came through funds earned via “illicit means” and the “taking of secret profits” in transactions linked to the Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)………………………………………Full Article: Source

Ex-BSI banker trial: Yeo Jiawei amassed S$23.9m in just 15 months after leaving BSI, say prosecutors

Posted on 23 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The only way former BSI banker Yeo Jiawei could earn $23.9 million in less than 15 months was by taking “secret profits” linked to a money-laundering scam involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), prosecutors contended.
The allegations came on the final day of Yeo’s 12-day trial on four charges of obstructing justice. District Judge Ng Peng Hong will deliver the verdict on Dec 21. The prosecution’s cross-examination of Yeo focused on the “illicit” wealth he allegedly accumulated during and after leaving BSI………………………………….Full Article: Source

AG’s 1MDB report stays under OSA

Posted on 22 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Auditor General’s (AG) report on troubled 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) will continue to be sealed under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
Azalina pointed out that the AG’s report on 1MDB is specially for the use of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). “The report has been discussed by the PAC before the finalisation [of] the PAC report on the management of 1MDB that has been tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2016,” she wrote…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Alaska lawmaker plans appeal in dividend case

Posted on 18 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A state senator who challenged Gov. Bill Walker’s cut to the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend this year plans to appeal a judge’s decision that found that Walker acted within his authority. Sen. Bill Wielechowski of Anchorage said it was always expected that the case would be decided by the Alaska Supreme Court.
Wielechowski and two former legislators brought the case, arguing the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. was obligated by law to make available nearly $1.4 billion from the fund’s earnings reserve for dividends, in spite of a Walker veto reducing that amount…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Malaysia Silences 1MDB Whistleblower in Blow to Rights

Posted on 17 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The sentencing of an opposition politician is just the latest attempt to cover up a deepening 1MDB scandal. A chorus of international outrage was struck immediately after the sentencing of opposition politician Rafizi Ramli for disclosing part of the Auditor General’s report into the 1MDB corruption scandal, which has severely damaged Malaysia’s reputation in business and politics.
London-based Amnesty International immediately called for the 18-month sentence to be quashed, arguing Rafizi had acted in the public interest by bringing to light information about one of the biggest corruption scandals in Malaysia’s recent history…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Najib says he initiated 1MDB probe

Posted on 17 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In an interview with a Japanese weekly, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said he was the first to order an investigation into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). In an interview published in the Nikkei Asian Review yesterday, he said the Malaysian authorities have led investigations into 1MDB.
“It was I who first instructed multiple authorities in Malaysia to conduct investigations,” he stated. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Auditor-General, the police and the bipartisan Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee have conducted probes…………………………………….Full Article: Source

1MDB corruption: Najib denies ham-handed probe, affirms he alone started investigation

Posted on 16 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak rebuffed allegations of suppression of the probe into the multi-billion dollar financial irregularities in the state investment fund 1 Malaysia Berhad, saying it was he who initiated the investigation into the scandal.
The prime minister’s latest offensive came a day after a Malaysian court sentenced prominent opposition parliamentarian Rafizi Ramli to 18 months in jail for exposing documents related to the financial scandal that rocked the government………………………………….Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s 1MDB in university hard sell

Posted on 15 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An investigation by US authorities into the alleged theft of billions of dollars from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund 1MDB was in part fuelled by Attorney-General Loretta Lynch’s desire to divert attention from Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, according to materials distributed in private lectures given by the company’s chief executive Arul Kanda in Australia last week.
The glossy 20-page booklet claims the US Department of Justice investigation, which has so far resulted in the freezing of more than $US1 billion ($1.34bn) in ­assets allegedly removed from 1MDB, is “questionable, strange and bizarre” and threatens the stability of Malaysia…………………………………….Full Article: Source

1MDB: Malaysian opposition politician jailed for exposing audit report on fund

Posted on 15 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A prominent Malaysian opposition politician who has a reputation as a whistleblower has been sentenced to 18 months’ jail for releasing a classified document on a controversial state investment fund.
Rafizi Ramli, vice-president of the People’s Justice Party, was found guilty by the court of violating the Official Secrets Act by possessing and disclosing part of a government audit report on the indebted 1MDB fund, founded by Prime Minister Najib Razak. Rafizi, who often makes allegations on alleged government wrongdoing, said he would appeal…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Malaysia again knocks back Swiss request for help in 1MDB graft investigation

Posted on 14 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia has again rebuffed Switzerland’s request for legal assistance in probing suspected corruption linked to scandal-hit state fund 1MDB, the Swiss attorney general’s office said on Friday.
But it said Kuala Lumpur’s decision would not hinder the Swiss probe as it works with other countries on the case. “We respect Malaysia’s independent decision on this matter. However, the Malaysian authorities remain free to use the information provided in Switzerland’s requests for assistance in their own investigations,” Attorney General Michael Lauber said, confirming a report by the Financial Times…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Singapore says Malaysian ‘Jho Low’ key figure in 1MDB-linked probe

Posted on 11 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s white-collar crime unit for the first time on Thursday identified Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho as a key figure in the money laundering investigation linked to scandal-tainted 1MDB fund. The revelation came from an investigator during the trial of a former wealth manager of Swiss private bank BSI in Singapore’s most high-profile money laundering case.
Low is also among the people named in civil lawsuits filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, which alleged that more than $3.5 billion was allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB………………………………………Full Article: Source

‘I was just taking instructions’: Ex-BSI banker Yeo Jiawei on 1MDB dealings

Posted on 11 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After seven months in remand and eight days in the dock, former BSI wealth planner Yeo Jiawei had his day in court. Yeo, 33, took the witness stand Thursday (Nov 10) afternoon and immediately distanced himself from former colleagues and business associates also implicated in Singapore’s 1MDB probe.
He insisted he never negotiated secret million-dollar deals or facilitated illicit transactions, “unlike what has been said by the (prosecution’s) witnesses”. “I was just taking instructions. They know I didn’t have negotiating powers … or the authority to negotiate,” Yeo said………………………………………Full Article: Source

How will Najib’s golfing buddy Trump treat Malaysia’s 1MDB probe?

Posted on 10 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is apparently US president-elect Donald Trump’s golfing buddy and “favourite Prime Minister”. Given the ties between the two men, some observers expect the relationship between Muslim-majority Malaysia and the US to remain good despite Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric during his bitterly fought campaign.
“Next to the prime minister’s chair in his office is a photo of him and Trump. It is signed by Trump with the words “To my favourite Prime Minister”, a Malaysian government source told This Week in Asia. “They are golfing buddies,” he said, adding the picture was taken “not too long ago”………………………………………Full Article: Source

Goldman in Hot Water? Libyan Fund May Appeal Ruling

Posted on 09 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. has been yet again accused by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) as the fund is intending to approach the UK Court of Appeal. The move comes after the Wall Street banking giant won the $1.2 billion suit last month over a series of derivatives transactions entered between LIA and Goldman in 2008.
According to a report by Reuters , at a hearing on Friday, Judge Vivien Rose did not grant permission to LIA for appealing her October judgment, wherein she had dismissed the case. However, citing a source familiar with the matter, the report stated that the sovereign fund now may seek permission from the Court of Appeal. ……………………………………Full Article: Source

HKMA supports AIIB’s use of Hong Kong as financing centre

Posted on 09 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority: The President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Mr Jin Liqun, spoke at a high-level business seminar in Hong Kong today (November 8). The seminar, organised by the Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office (IFFO) of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and entitled “President Jin Liqun on AIIB’s Operations and Projects”, attracted close to 300 industry leaders from various sectors including finance, architecture, building and construction engineering, project management and consulting, project development and operation, as well as professional services.
Jin said at the seminar that Hong Kong’s application to become a member of AIIB is progressing well. He said, “We welcome Hong Kong’s application for AIIB membership. Hong Kong, among other applicants, is expected to become a member of AIIB in the coming months…………………………………….Full Article: Source

1MDB scandal: Ex-BSI banker bought $1.36m Mayweather-Pacquiao Las Vegas fight tickets

Posted on 09 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As the Singapore court case probing the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) sovereign fund scandal unfolds, a former BSI banker has beeen accused of siphoning off millions from the state fund through bank accounts setup for several shell companies.
Yeo Jiawei is facing four counts of obstructing justice in Singapore by allegedly urging witnesses to lie to police and destroy evidence while out on bail after his arrest on 17 March 2016 in connection with money laundering involving the state fund. He faces seven other counts involving cheating, money laundering and forgery, which will be heard in 2017…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Action taken on Ambank bankers over 1MDB case

Posted on 08 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bank Negara Malaysia took action against Ambank staff Cheah Tek Kuang and Joanna Yu over a 1MDB-linked case, the Finance Ministry said. However, it did not specify what action was taken in the written parliamentary reply to Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya).
“Bank Negara investigated financial institutions involved in the 1MDB case under the Financial Services Act 2013, Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 and Anti Money-Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001………………………………………Full Article: Source

Libyan sovereign fund seeks to appeal judgment in Goldman case

Posted on 08 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund will turn to the UK Court of Appeal, a source said on Friday, after a high court judge denied it permission to appeal her judgment in a $1.2 billion case against Goldman Sachs.
Responding to the fund’s request, Judge Vivien Rose denied it permission to appeal her October judgment in which she dismissed the Libyan Investment Authority’s (LIA) case against Goldman Sachs over nine equity derivatives trades made in 2008………………………………………Full Article: Source

Libya Accuses Goldman Sachs of Bribery in Bid to Appeal Lawsuit

Posted on 08 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Libyan Investment Authority tried to resurrect its lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. by adding new accusations of bribery, less than a month after a crushing courtroom defeat in London.
But Judge Vivien Rose said at a hearing Friday that the appeal had no chance of success and ordered the sovereign wealth fund to pay Goldman at least 8.5 million pounds ($10.6 million) for legal costs. The LIA has one last chance to keep its lawsuit alive, by making a direct application to the appeals court………………………………………Full Article: Source

1MDB-related charges and bank closure in Singapore

Posted on 04 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Two senior private bankers of Swiss bank BSI Bank Ltd in Singapore were slapped with a total of 14 charges on Oct 10, 2016, for allegedly being involved in illegal transactions of large amounts of money that originated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
They are Yak Yew Chee, 57, and Yvonne Seah Yew Foong, 45. Yak and Seah were identified as a managing director and director of BSI Singapore respectively. Aside from charging the two, the Singapore authorities also took several other actions last week………………………………………Full Article: Source

1MDB puts Singapore private banking on notice

Posted on 03 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has come out fighting after its private banking industry was immersed in the 1MDB scandal. A tax amnesty with Indonesia has posed further difficult questions about disclosure and privacy. Now the MAS has to show its teeth without wrecking an industry the country relies on.
1MDB is the scandal that keeps on taking. Having crippled institutional and political trust in Malaysia, brought down senior figures across the Middle East and triggered intensive investigations from Switzerland to the US, it has now given Singapore’s private banking industry its greatest test in a generation…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Ex-BSI bankers set up US$2.3b deal with 1MDB firm, pocketed millions in profit: Witness

Posted on 03 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Further details were revealed in court on Wednesday (Nov 2) about the complex web of relationships involving former employees of Swiss bank BSI who allegedly had a hand in the money laundering operation linked to 1MDB, and how the illicit dealings went on at the expense of the bank.
BSI entered into an agreement with fund management company Bridge Partners International Management in 2012, involving US$2.3 billion from 1MDB-owned Brazen Sky…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Singapore Trial Witness Links Banker to Alleged 1MDB Figure

Posted on 02 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Wealth manager Yeo Jiawei went to work with or for financier Jho Low after leaving BSI Bank, his one-time boss testified. A witness linked a former private banker on trial here to a young financier global investigators say was at the center of the misappropriation of billions of dollars from Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB.
Wealth manager Yeo Jiawei, 33, went to work with or for the financier, Jho Low, after leaving BSI Bank Ltd. in Singapore in 2014, his one-time boss Kevin Swampillai testified in court……………………………………Full Article: Source

Singapore starts trial of ex-banker linked to 1MDB Fund

Posted on 01 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore has begun the trial of a former private banker charged with money laundering and other offenses in connection with the indebted Malaysian state fund 1MDB. Yeo Jiawei, a former wealth planner at Swiss private bank BSI, is facing 11 charges for allegedly obstructing the course of justice, money laundering, cheating, and forgery.
BSI was closed down in May due to serious breaches of anti-money laundering requirements, among other problems. Investigators in Singapore, Switzerland, Hong Kong and the U.S. have been probing allegations that people close to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak stole more than $1 billion from 1MDB, or 1Malaysia Development Bhd………………………………………Full Article: Source

1MDB debt is not gov’t debt, says Najib

Posted on 01 November 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has said that debts accumulated by 1MDB are not considered government debts. “Debts (accumulated) by 1MDB and their related projects are not classified as federal government debts.
“Therefore, debts accumulated by 1MDB and their related projects do not contribute to government debts,” said the finance minister. Najib said this in a written parliamentary reply to Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, who had asked the finance minister to state the debt-to-GDP ratio for both 2015 and 2016, and also to state the debts contributed by 1MDB and related projects………………………………………Full Article: Source

‘New debt crisis’ looms at 1MDB-linked SRC

Posted on 31 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Government-owned investment company might sell off assets to China firms in return for fresh capital, according to Singapore report. A looming debt crisis hangs over former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International, which borrowed RM4 billion from a civil servants’ pension fund, according to a Singapore news report.
Malaysian government negotiators were seeking a China-led takeover of SRC assets in return for fresh capital that will help finance the 10-year loan from Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP), according to the Singapore Straits Times……………………………………..Full Article: Source

SAMA ‘did not issue warning on expat loans’, says Saudi official

Posted on 28 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Industry body said to deny Saudi banks were warned against lending to expats. Reports that Saudi Arabia’s central bank had issued a directive asking banks to stop offering loans to expats amid nationwide austerity cuts have been dismissed, according to local media.
An official from the kingdom’s banking awareness committee told Saudi Gazette that the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) had “nothing to do” with individual banks’ lending decisions and issued no such circular……………………………………Full Article: Source

1MDB: High Court adjourns Azmin’s judicial review application

Posted on 27 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The High Court here today adjourned the hearing of Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s judicial review application to challenge the classification of the Auditor-General’s Report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) as official secret on Nov 18.
Justice Datuk Hanipah Farikullah set the date in chambers after senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan told the court that the respondents only received the documents on the application on Monday. The SFC when met said the court also fixed Nov 3 for case management…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Former 1MDB spokesman Ahmad Husni now queries Putrajaya on fund’s deals

Posted on 25 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Former second finance minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah, who reportedly said handling 1MDB issues previously made him ill, has turned around to question the fund’s dealings in Parliament.
Ahmad Husni, who is also the MP for Tambun, said he was questioning its dealings because he was concerned allegations of financial wrongdoings linked to the state-owned investment fund, would negatively impact global perception of Malaysia…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya versus Goldman Sachs

Posted on 24 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A High Court judge in London has cleared Goldman Sachs of tricking Libya’s state investment fund into making vast leveraged investments in 2007-2008 that it didn’t properly understand – investments that were wiped out in the banking crisis.
The dispute centred on Goldman’s dealings with the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), a body set up at Muammar Gaddafi’s instigation to invest some of the country’s oil wealth as it was reintegrated into the global economy in the 1990s………………………………………Full Article: Source

Art Dealer Claims Monet in 1MDB Scandal

Posted on 21 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Justice Department alleges Jho Low bought painting using money stolen from government fund. Sometimes seizing an asset isn’t as easy as taking a painting off the wall, even for the Justice Department.
Since July, U.S. prosecutors have been seeking forfeiture of roughly $1 billion worth of assets—including four artworks by Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet—allegedly owned by Malaysian financier Jho Low. Investigators say Mr. Low bought the art using money believed to be stolen from 1Malaysia Development Bhd., a government investment fund known as 1MDB, according to court filings. Civil forfeiture suits filed by the Justice Department are pending…………………………………….Full Article: Source

MACC not probing 1MDB, minister says

Posted on 21 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) is not investigating 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low said.
In a parliamentary written answer to Sim Tze Tzin (PKR-Bayan Baru), Low said that it is the police that are investigating 1MDB. Sim had earlier asked if MACC had called up Low Taek Jho and Riza Aziz in their 1MDB probe. “MACC is not investigating 1MDB but the investigation is carried by the police,” Low said…………………………………….Full Article: Source

1MDB: Govt declines to say if Jho Low, Riza questioned by police

Posted on 20 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Home Ministry is keeping mum on whether or not police have questioned businessman Low Taek Jho (popularly known as Jho Low) and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s stepson Riza Aziz on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.
In a written reply to Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin in the Dewan Rakyat, the ministry did not say if police had summoned the two men for questioning in its 1MDB probe. Sim had asked if Jho Low and Riza are still in Malaysia or have left the country, and whether the duo have been summoned by the police for questioning……………………………………Full Article: Source

Firm acts on major sovereign wealth fund investment

Posted on 20 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ashurst advised Abertis Infraestructuras S.A. on the investment by a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) in Abertis’ Chilean toll road business. The value of the investment of the sovereign wealth fund of the Abu Dhabi emirate implies a cash inflow of €495m (about $710m) for Abertis.
The transaction gives ADIA a 20% interest in the six toll road concessions managed by Abertis in Chile. Abertis, which will retain an 80 per cent interest in the business, is the largest toll road operator in Chile in terms of traffic, with the six concessions totalling 771 kilometres under management……………………………………Full Article: Source

Even the White House not shielded from 1MDB scandal

Posted on 19 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A White House visit was allegedly arranged for relatives of PM Najib Razak for US$10 million. Was the golf session with US President Barack Obama also paid for? Obama must be thinking that if someone is willing to be a sucker, why not? And Malaysian citizens will have to foot the bill as the government is guarantor for the 1MDB bonds.
Kim Quek: The fallout of the toxic 1MDB bomb seems to be ubiquitous, this time, reaching the doorstep of the White House. As correctly pointed out by readers here, Sarawak Report did give an exhaustive coverage on this subject on Nov 15, 2015…………………………………….Full Article: Source

1MDB has affected perception of Malaysia

Posted on 19 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While the government-owned media and supporters of the incumbent administration have downplayed the numerous problems at 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and said they have not adversely impacted the country, the results of the biennial Corporate Governance (CG) Watch 2016 paint a different picture.
Malaysia would have done “much better” had there been no 1MDB, Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) secretary-general Jamie Allen tells The Edge Financial Daily in a phone interview…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Singapore court approves Temasek’s buyout of SMRT

Posted on 18 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s High Court has approved state investor Temasek Holdings’ buyout of transport operator SMRT Corporation, bringing the delisting of a 16-year-old float one step closer to reality. The last day of trading of blue-chip SMRT’s shares will be Oct 18, while payout of the S$1.68 per share is expected to take place by Nov 1.
SMRT shareholders had voted on Sept 29 to let Temasek take SMRT private by way of a scheme of arrangement. Said SMRT in a release after markets closed on Monday: “The Board wishes to announce that the Scheme has been sanctioned by the Court today…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysian Speaker bans talk in Parliament on US’ 1MDB civil suit

Posted on 18 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

United States Justice Department’s (DoJ) ongoing lawsuit to seize assets linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) cannot be discussed in the Malaysian Parliament as it would be tantamount to sub judice, said Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia.
He said the lawsuit is still a court matter and as such, ministers do not need to respond to questions on the topic as well. “In fact, there is no need for a written reply either as that would be sub judice as well,” he told Members of Parliament (MPs) during the parliamentary sitting on Monday (Oct 17)…………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB notes reward bulls focused on scandal-hit bond’s backers

Posted on 18 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bonds of 1Malaysia Development Bhd have surged despite broadening investigations into the state investment fund’s activities, as investors bet on the strength of its backers. International Petroleum Investment, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, paid the coupon on 1MDB’s US$1.75 billion of October 2022 notes as the debt’s co-guarantor, days after a default in April.
JPMorgan Chase & Co said the debt could rally further to bring its yield premium closer to that of IPIC. Actively traded 1MDB bonds had an extra yield of 220 basis points more than US Treasuries on Oct 14, compared with 101 for IPIC…………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs wins $1.2bn dispute with Libyan SWF

Posted on 17 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libyan Investment Authority was attempting to claw money from nine equity derivatives investments carried out in 2008, which turned out to be worthless. A British court has ruled on in favour of Goldman Sachs in a $1.2 billion dispute with Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund over derivatives trades, dismissing claims that the investment bank had abused the fund’s trust.
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) was attempting to claw back the $1.2 billion from the Wall Street giant in relation to nine equity derivatives investments carried out in 2008, which turned out to be worthless……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs vindicated but bruised in court battle with Libyan fund

Posted on 17 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The outcome of a two-and-a-half-year legal battle between Goldman Sachs and Libya’s $67 billion sovereign fund is a triumph for the Wall Street giant, which was vindicated despite embarrassing revelations about how some of its bankers conducted business.
The London High Court found in favour of Goldman Sachs on Friday, with Judge Vivien Rose dismissing the fund’s arguments, made over the course of a bruising seven-week trial. While the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is likely to appeal, according to a source with knowledge of the matter, the lurid details spilling out of the case mesmerised observers because of the profile of the parties involved and the glimpse they offered into the secretive world of multi-billion-dollar sovereign wealth fund (SWF) investments……………………………………..Full Article: Source

What price Goldman’s reputation?

Posted on 17 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It is easy to look at the financial world today and see nothing but a spiral of disorder, dysfunction and decline perpetuated by bankers who preside and profit over controversy after controversy. Goldman Sachs won a $1 billion lawsuit brought against it by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA). It is a sovereign wealth fund set up by former dictator Muammer Gaddafi with $65 billion of assets under management.
The case was based on LIA’s claims that Goldman took advantage of its lack of investment knowledge and experience and pushed it into risky derivative trades in 2007 and 2008. The US bank allegedly made $200 million in profits while the LIA lost its entire $1.2 billion investment……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya ruling set to cast fresh light on Goldman practices

Posted on 17 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

High Court to decide on $1bn wealth fund suit claiming bank exercised undue influence. Goldman Sachs will find out today whether it has defeated a $1bn lawsuit brought against it by the Libyan Investment Authority in a case that is set to once again shine a spotlight on the US bank’s activities.
The ruling from the UK’s High Court brings to a close a trial in which it was claimed Goldman exploited the LIA’s limited financial experience while its bankers sought to win lucrative business from the sovereign wealth fund by offering its officials lavish corporate hospitality — and in one case procuring prostitutes……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Should Leonardo DiCaprio resign from UN climate change post?

Posted on 17 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Leonardo DiCaprio at UN: A lawsuit claims that the actor’s environmental protection charity, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, is one of the businesses to receive donations allegedly embezzled from the 1MDB fund.
A Swiss rainforest charity has called for actor Leonardo DiCaprio to renounce his position as UN Messenger for Peace for climate change due to alleged connections to a multi-billion dollar Malaysian corruption scandal……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Swiss bank ‘moved’ $US3.8bn for 1MDB

Posted on 14 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney-General has expanded its scrutiny of Malaysian public investment fund 1Malaysia Development, or 1MDB, by opening a criminal investigation into a small Swiss lender recently penalised for its ties to the fund.
The Swiss lawyer general’s ­office said that internal “deficiencies” at Zurich-based Falcon ­Private Bank might have caused it to fail to prevent alleged money laundering associated with 1MDB. The Swiss authorities opened a broad 1MDB investigation last year, and have previously said they placed another Swiss bank, BSI, under a related criminal probe. The status of that investigation remains unclear……………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB: The Masterminds, the Swiss Bankers and the Hollywood Star

Posted on 14 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1MDB is a scandal that has it all: secret bank accounts, corrupt politicians, Swiss bankers, a Hollywood star and an army of investigators hunting them down.
Najib Razak, the prime minister of Malaysia, is one of the key figures behind the 1MDB scandal. He came up with the idea of creating a state fund, the Malaysian Development Berhad (1MDB), to further the development of the Asian country. Today, it seems clear that he and his second wife, Rosmah Mansor, used the fund to enrich themselves……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Where in the 1MDB scandal is Falcon Bank?

Posted on 14 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

First it was BSI Bank. Then came Falcon Private Bank. One after another, Swiss prosecutors are putting banks under scrutiny over the 1MDB scandal. Last Wednesday, the Swiss attorney-general’s office (OAG) announced that it is initiating criminal proceedings against Falcon, after doing the same with BSI on May 23.
The Singaporeans had also acted, with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) ordering Falcon to close its Singapore unit and pay a S$4.3 million (US$3.11 million) fine. In this instalment of KiniGuide, we take a look at Falcon and how it got into so much trouble……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Swiss Attorney General Expands Probe of Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund

Posted on 13 October 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Zurich-based lender Falcon investigated for possible failure to prevent alleged money laundering tied to 1MDB. Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General has expanded its scrutiny of Malaysian public investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, by opening a criminal probe of a small Swiss lender recently penalized for its 1MDB ties.
The Swiss attorney general’s office said on Wednesday that internal “deficiencies” at Zurich-based Falcon Private Bank AG may have caused it to fail to prevent alleged money laundering associated with 1MDB………………………………….Full Article: Source

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