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Libyan Fund Officials Didn’t Understand Goldman Trades, Attorney Says

Posted on 29 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund was “astonished to learn” it hadn’t acquired any actual shares through derivatives trades arranged by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to a former lawyer for the fund who gave evidence in the High Court in London on Tuesday.
The Libyan Investment Authority, or LIA, is suing Goldman for $1.2 billion to cover its losses from nine trades arranged in 2008. Those trades took the form of equity derivatives and expired worthless in 2011. The LIA alleges that Goldman executives exerted “undue influence” over its officials, who didn’t understand the trades……………………………………….Full Article: Source

1MDB: Malaysia’s stunning financial scandal

Posted on 28 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia has been rocked for more than a year by a financial scandal involving Prime Minister Najib Razak, a state investment firm, and an alleged frenzy of embezzlement stunning in its scope and complexity.
Authorities in a half-dozen countries have launched investigations into suspicions that several billion dollars was looted from complicated financial transactions involving 1MDB and parked around the world. Following are answers to key questions in the affair………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund files complaint against VW over emissions scandal

Posted on 28 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has filed a complain against Volkswagen as part of a joint legal action following the carmaker’s emissions scandal.
The world’s largest wealth fund said the complaint was filed to the Braunschweig District Court in Germany and is part of the lawsuit filed by law firm Quinn Emanuel on behalf of institutional funds in connection with the scandal. The fund is Volkswagen’s largest shareholder without a seat on its advisory board………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s wealth fund files complaint against Volkswagen

Posted on 27 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $850-billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, has filed a complaint against Volkswagen, as part of a joint legal action following the carmaker’s emissions scandal, the fund said in a statement.
The fund said the complaint was filed to the Braunschweig District Court in Germany and is part of the lawsuit filed by law firm Quinn Emanuel on behalf of institutional funds in connection with the scandal. It is Volkswagen’s largest shareholder without a seat on its supervisory board and said in May it planned to join class-action lawsuits filed against Volkswagen over the German automaker’s emissions scandal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BSI Bank appeals regulator’s 1MDB sanctions

Posted on 24 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Swiss-based private bank BSI is taking the country’s financial regulator to court to appeal “unlawful and disproportionate sanctions” imposed last month in relation to the bank’s business with the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has ordered BSI to disgorge CHF95 million ($99 million) in profits for “serious breaches” of anti-money laundering rules. FINMA also effectively closed down the BSI, whose business is being taken over by EFG Bank, and is taking action against two executives………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libyan Fund Official Had Never Heard of Goldman ‘In My Life’

Posted on 23 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Libyan official who helped review billion-dollar investments with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said he had never heard of the bank or the word derivative before joining the country’s $60 billion-dollar sovereign wealth fund in 2007.
Hisham Najah, now the Libyan Investment Authority’s chief investment officer, testified Wednesday in the fund’s lawsuit against Goldman Sachs over losses from trades in 2008………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia fund threatens to fight back

Posted on 21 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Troubled Malaysian state investment vehicle 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) said on Friday (June 17) it plans a “robust response” to an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund’s move to seek US$6.5 billion (S$8.8 billion) via international arbitration of a debt dispute.
The Abu Dhabi fund, International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), said on Tuesday that it had submitted a request to the London Court of International Arbitration to intervene in the row. “1MDB will file a robust response to the RFA (request for arbitration)”, 1MDB, or 1Malaysia Development Berhad, said in a brief statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Irish Angle on 1MDB Confirms Jho Low Link To Goldman Sachs

Posted on 21 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Way back in May 2014, Sarawak Report noted that reports from Ireland and also from a British High Court judgement made clear that Najib’s 1MDB proxy, Jho Low, was using money from the development fund to back his own private equity ventures.
Specifically, in April 2011, Low had acquired a controlling debt over one of Britain’s top hotel chains, the Maybourne/Coroin Hotel Group which included Claridge’s and The Connaught, thanks to a £49.1 million sum provided by 1MDB………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia’s 1MDB plans ‘robust response’ in debt row with Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 20 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Troubled Malaysian state investment vehicle 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) said on Friday (June 17) it plans a “robust response” to an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund’s move to seek US$6.5 billion (S$8.8 billion) via international arbitration of a debt dispute.
The Abu Dhabi fund, International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), said on Tuesday that it had submitted a request to the London Court of International Arbitration to intervene in the row. “1MDB will file a robust response to the RFA (request for arbitration)”, 1MDB, or 1Malaysia Development Berhad, said in a brief statement………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya case against Goldman shines rare spotlight on powerful bank

Posted on 20 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

UK court hears of hotels and entertainment on third day of trial in $1bn claim by Libyan fund. It was a week when London’s High Court heard the lurid details about a Goldman Sachs banker procuring prostitutes to develop ties with the Libyan Investment Authority and then fearing for his life when the investments the US bank had sold to the wealth fund turned sour.
The court on Friday was told how the bank paid for staff from the LIA to stay in five-star London hotels and offered them corporate entertainment including football and theatre tickets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya SWF adviser says execs who invested in derivatives were financially “illiterate”

Posted on 20 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Top decision makers at Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund were “illiterate” in terms of investment with little knowledge of the derivatives instruments purchased on the advice of Goldman Sachs, an adviser to the fund told a court on Thursday.
In a closely watched case in the City of London, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is attempting to claw back $1.2 billion from the U.S. investment bank from nine disputed trades carried out in 2008. The LIA argues that the U.S. bank took advantage of its financial naivety by first gaining its trust, then encouraging it to make risky and ultimately worthless investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Watchdogs exempt sovereign wealth and pension funds from study

Posted on 17 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds and pension funds have won a temporary break from tighter regulatory scrutiny, as global watchdogs exempted them from an ambitious study aiming to curb systemic risks from financial institutions that are not banks or insurers.
SWFs — which have grown in number and size in the past decade due to an accompanying spike in commodity prices — have an estimated $7tn in assets under management, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, while pension funds manage about $35tn of assets across the globe………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs was like a ’swarm’ on Libyan wealth fund client, court told

Posted on 17 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Goldman Sachs acted “like a swam” on a Libyan sovereign wealth fund client, a witness in a dispute between the bank and the Libyan Investment Authority, told a London court on Thursday.
The bank presented different teams and products to the LIA in 2007 “one after the other and almost relentlessly,” Ali Jallal Baruni, a consultant for the LIA, said in a witness statement distributed to journalists. Baruni claimed Goldman Sachs even introduced the son of Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of advertising giant WPP, as part of the team………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya SWF adviser says execs who invested in derivatives were financially “illiterate”

Posted on 17 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Top decision makers at Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund were “illiterate” in terms of investment with little knowledge of the derivatives instruments purchased on the advice of Goldman Sachs, an adviser to the fund told a court on Thursday.
In a closely watched case in the City of London, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is attempting to claw back $1.2 billion from the U.S. investment bank from nine disputed trades carried out in 2008. The LIA argues that the U.S. bank took advantage of its financial naivety by first gaining its trust, then encouraging it to make risky and ultimately worthless investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya Seeks to Free Up Sovereign Fund But Banks Face Risks

Posted on 16 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Libyan Investment Authority isn’t only pursuing its interests through legal action against top global financial firms, but also lobbying the United Nations Security Council to soften an asset freeze on its funds to halt their declining value.
The LIA’s actions are sending a clear message to financial institutions eager to engage in business with the multi-billion dollar fund: tread carefully, said compliance and sanctions experts. Not only has the LIA become very litigious, but the licenses to transact with the conflict-torn and financially-sanctioned African nation are hard to get and quite restrictive, they said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi fund IPIC to pursue 1MDB claims in arbitration court

Posted on 16 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund International Petroleum Investment says it is pursuing arbitration in a London court for about $US6.5 billion ($8.8bn) it says it is owed as a result of a dispute with Malaysian state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
The dispute erupted in April, when IPIC accused 1MDB of reneging on key provisions of an agreement last year that saw it extend a billion-dollar loan to 1MDB and assume responsibility for interest payments on some of its debt. IPIC later said it would only make those payments as an official guarantor on two 1MDB bonds and that it intended to pursue repayment from Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia PM Najib denies abusing power in court filing, seeks to dismiss 1MDB-related lawsuit

Posted on 16 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia’s embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak denied accusations of misuse of power, graft and interference in official investigations of troubled state fund 1MDB, according to documents filed in response to a lawsuit, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
The report said Najib is seeking to dismiss the case, which was filed in March and led by Mahathir Mohamad, who was Malaysia’s prime minister from 1981 to 2003 and has been a fervent critic of Najib. In the suit, Mahathir, who has repeatedly said he wants Najib removed from office, alleges Najib “actively and deliberately” tried to derail investigations into 1Malaysia Development Bhd. and into allegations that funds from 1MDB ended up in his personal accounts, the report said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi seeks $6.5 bn in row with Malaysia’s 1MDB

Posted on 15 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund is seeking $6.5 billion from Malaysia’s troubled state investment vehicle 1MDB, as it moves to settle a debt dispute through international arbitration.
The fund, International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), on Tuesday said it had submitted its request to the London Court of International Arbitration. In April, 1MDB, or 1Malaysia Development Berhad, defaulted on $1.75 billion in company bonds after missing an interest payment of $50 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Says Libya Suffering From Buyers Remorse Over Bad Trades

Posted on 15 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Libyan Investment Authority is using Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as a scapegoat to recover more than $1 billion the sovereign-wealth fund lost during a period when global markets were seizing in the 2008 credit crunch, the investment bank’s lawyer said.
Robert Miles, Goldman Sachs’ lawyer, made his opening arguments to the London court a day after the multi-billion dollar sovereign-wealth fund said the New York-bank used vacations and prostitutes to push unsophisticated Libyan officials into risky bets before the global financial crisis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Former Goldman Sachs executive denies paying for ‘improper entertainment’ in LIA case

Posted on 15 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Goldman Sachs executive at the centre of a $1.2 billion (£850 million) claim brought by Libya’s sovereign wealth fund has denied allegations he paid for “improper entertainment” for himself and the younger brother of a key decision-maker at the fund on a business trip.
Youssef Kabbaj, a former Goldman Sachs sales team executive, also said that all his expenses linked to the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) had always been signed off by at least two senior partners at the bank and fully reimbursed by Goldman. In a trial at London’s High Court that began on Monday, the $67 billion LIA is attempting to claw back $1.2 billion from nine trades it carried out with Goldman Sachs in 2008………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libyan Fund Alleges Goldman Took Advantage of Its Unsophistication

Posted on 14 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund, in a long-awaited trial that started Monday, alleged Goldman Sachs Group Inc. took advantage of its lack of financial sophistication to draw it into losing trades. Emails in the case show Goldman executives saying that the Libyan fund had little experience in finance. “They are very unsophisticated—and anyone could ‘rape’ them,” one executive wrote in 2008.
In another internal email exchange, a Goldman executive wrote to a colleague that “you just delivered a pitch on structured leveraged loans to someone who lives in the middle of the desert with his camels.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs exploited Libya fund, court told

Posted on 14 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Goldman Sachs banker described officials at Libya’s sovereign wealth fund as so unsophisticated that “anyone could ‘rape’ them”, it was claimed in the London’s High Court, on the first day of a $1bn legal case being brought against the financial group.
The court on Monday heard claims by the Libyan Investment Authority that Goldman had exploited the wealth fund’s limited experience in 2008, to force it into risky and ultimately lossmaking derivative trades………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs set for revealing Libya trial

Posted on 13 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It is a $1bn blockbuster legal battle pitting Goldman Sachs against Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, featuring colourful allegations of a “lavish trip to Morocco”, gifts, “heavy drinking and girls”. It promises to give a rare glimpse into the bank’s dealings with one of world’s richest investors, and into the behaviour of its bankers before the credit crunch.
And, on Monday, it will finally kick off at London’s High Court. In a lawsuit, the Libyan Investment Authority claims that Goldman exploited the sovereign wealth fund’s limited financial experience in 2008, forcing it into risky and ultimately lossmaking derivative trades. Goldman denies this………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya SWF trial against Goldman Sachs set to start at London High Court

Posted on 13 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund will go head-to-head with Goldman Sachs in London’s High Court this week over claims that the U.S. investment bank exploited the fund by encouraging it to make risky and ultimately worthless investments.
In what will be one of the most closely watched cases in the City of London, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is attempting to claw back $1.2 billion from the Wall Street giant from nine disputed trades carried out in 2008………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Government May Tweak Investment Norms for Infrastructure Fund

Posted on 10 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Government is looking to tweak the investment norms for NIIF (National Investment and Infrastructure Fund) to allow investors to co-invest in this sovereign wealth fund as also in the individual projects.
The norms would be tweaked within the broad framework of the investment to take into account suggestions from the domestic and overseas investors, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said. Das also expressed hope that the retail inflation would remain at 5 per cent this fiscal, in line with the RBI’s projection, and help India develop into a low-cost economy in terms of lower interest rates, transaction costs and logistics costs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Temasek tenders NOL shares; CMA offer now unconditional

Posted on 10 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) on Friday said the offer from France’s CMA CGM is now wholly unconditional, after NOL’s majority shareholder Temasek Holdings tendered all shares in the acceptance of the offer. This means the acceptance condition of the takeover has been met.
CMA CGM now owns 78.07 per cent of all NOL shares, and does not intend to preserve the listing status of NOL. It offered NOL shareholders the offer price of S$1.30 per share, in cash. Shares of NOL closed unchanged at S$1.30 on Thursday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

No 1MDB profits sent to Singapore banks: regulator

Posted on 09 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore said none of the banks in the city-state had received US$3 billion from Goldman Sachs Group Inc related to a bond sale by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). The comment was made “in response to media queries,” the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a one-line statement yesterday. It did not name any media organizations.
The statement came after the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that Goldman Sachs had wired US$3 billion of proceeds from a bond issue it arranged for 1MDB in 2013 to an account controlled by the fund at the Singapore branch of a small Swiss private bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

12 Swedish big shots have been blacklisted by Norway SWF

Posted on 09 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The enormous Norwegian sovereign wealth fund have blacklisted twelve Swedes. In essence, this means that the fund opposes them as members of the board of the companies the fund owns shares in. According to the Swedish daily Dagens Industri, the fund has in 2016 voted against twelve Swedes as members of the board.
The fund, commonly referred to as The Oil Fund, manages the wealth produced by the Norwegian oil. It is absolutely huge: On average, the fund owns approximately 1.3 percent of the world’s listed companies. Over 700 billion dollars are managed by the fund, and its Swedish investments amount to approximately 15 billion dollars………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Senate moves to amend Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority Act

Posted on 09 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Senate Committee on Finance on Wednesday said it will amend Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority Act in order to widen the scope of activities of the agency. Speaking at stakeholders public hearing in Abuja, Chairman of the Committee, Senator John Owan Enoh stated that as an agency that was strategic to the economic growth of the nation, the 8th Assembly through the Committee has taken cognizance of areas in the Act that needs immediate legislative intervention.
He identified those areas to allowing the Sovereign Wealth Fund, an agency of the Authority to go into full blown investment………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Tencent Holding WeBank Denied Foreign Fund Raising

Posted on 08 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

WeBank, a Shenzhen-based Internet bank owned by Tencent Holding Ltd., has been restricted to get funds from foreign investors including the US private Warburg Pincus and the Singapore state-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd., after the country’s banking regulator expressed serious concerns over the foreign ownership. The reason for blocking investment is still not clear.
In April 2016, it raised nearly $4.5 billion in funds, which gave the financial arm valuation of nearly $60 billion. Ant Financials domestic investors include various insurance companies and China’s sovereign wealth fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB Defends Liquidity Position After Moody’s Rating Withdrawal

Posted on 08 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia’s troubled state investment company 1Malaysia Development Bhd. defended its liquidity position after Moody’s Investors Service withdrew the rating for one of its bonds. Moody’s said Tuesday it withdrew the rating on 1MDB Energy Ltd.’s 5.99 percent $1.75 billion debt “for its own business reasons,” according to a statement, pointing to its website for its policy on such moves.
“1MDB reiterates that its liquidity position is strong and the company remains focused on execution of its successful rationalization plan,” the company said in a statement Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs fights $1bn court battle against Libya’s wealth fund

Posted on 06 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Goldman Sachs is braced for a $1bn court battle this month, facing dramatic claims in the High Court that it took advantage of naïve leadership at the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) to rip off the sovereign wealth fund.
The LIA claims that its former management, in the Gaddafi era, lacked any financial knowledge and so were taken advantage of by senior staff at Goldman Sachs, losing more than $1bn in a series of nine derivatives trades in 2008 which gave Goldman hundreds of millions of dollars in profit………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SSEK Advises GIC on Indonesian Investment in Logistics Sector

Posted on 02 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

SSEK Legal Consultants has acted as Indonesian counsel to GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, on its partnership with PT Mega Manunggal Property Tbk, an Indonesian publicly listed logistics developer and one of Indonesia’s leading modern logistics companies, to develop logistics warehouses in Indonesia. This is GIC’s first investment in Indonesia’s logistics sector.
Partner Denny Rahmansyah led the SSEK team advising on the deal. Allen & Gledhill acted as foreign counsel for GIC………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Complete delayed 1MDB audits, new board of directors told

Posted on 02 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The first act of the new board of directors at 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) must be to instruct accounting firm Deloitte to complete the months’ late audit of the firm, DAP’s Tony Pua said.
The DAP national publicity secretary said the audits for the financial years ending March 31, 2015 and March 2016 must be completed as soon as possible to provide 1MDB’s new directors a “clear and accurate” picture of the financial position of the company………………………………………..Full Article: Source

To tackle NPAs: Indian SWF NIIF to Rescue

Posted on 01 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Union Minister of State (MoS) for Finance Jayant Sinha said the government is working towards the formation of a stressed assets fund which will be of a significant size to tackle the menace of non-performing assets (NPAs) in the banking system. Sinha further said other funds like the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) are also expected to pool in equity in the stressed asset funds.
“We expect a variety of funds — distressed debt funds, special situations fund and NIIF — to participate in the equity investments in these stressed assets,” he said. India is also very close to launching the NIIF, India’s first sovereign wealth fund, with the junior finance minister indicating there has been a thorough search for the CEO position on a global scale……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Malaysia announces wind-up of 1MDB

Posted on 01 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia has replaced the board of 1Malaysia Development Berhad with treasury officials, paving the way for the dissolution of the troubled state investment fund.
A three-member board headed by the treasury’s top administrative officer succeeded the board of directors of 1MDB, effective Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance said in a press release. “The change of board reflects 1MDB’s new direction as a nonoperating company, focusing on completion of the successful rationalization plan and on servicing future debt repayments.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Norway Lawmakers Win Review on Wealth Fund Infrastructure Push

Posted on 31 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s parliament demanded further study on whether the country’s $850 billion sovereign wealth fund should invest in infrastructure and recommended it start a review of its expectations for investments listed in tax havens.
“It’s very positive that we’ve managed to move the government from wanting to close the door entirely to agreeing to a step forward” on infrastructure, Torstein Tvedt Solberg, a lawmaker for the opposition Labor Party, said by telephone on Monday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway wealth fund needs policy on tax declarations: committee

Posted on 31 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s $860-billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, must develop a policy on how companies in which it has invested declare their taxes, parliament’s finance committee said. The fund, managed by a unit of the central bank, invests the income from Norway’s oil industry. It owns 1.3 percent of the world’s listed company equity, with stakes in some 9,050 firms.
The move is a first step by Norway to use the fund as a tool to combat the use of tax havens. It follows the Panama Papers leaks in April, which revealed details of corporate and individual tax evasion and triggered a global backlash. Two key committee members told Reuters of the move last week………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s wealth fund passed on Facebook investment

Posted on 31 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The rules governing Norway’s sovereign wealth fund kept it from jumping on board when Facebook asked it to invest in the social media giant ahead of its 2012 IPO. The head of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund told VG that Facebook reached out ahead of its IPO to see if the sovereign wealth fund, the largest of its kind in the world, was interested in becoming an investor.
“It wasn’t at the inception of Facebook, but it was before it was listed. We are not allowed to invest in companies before they are listed so we couldn’t go along when we received the request,” Ynge Slygstad said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB scandal taking toll on Malaysia stock market as foreigners sell

Posted on 31 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

One of the worst global financial scandals is taking its toll on the world’s longest bull market run. Deepening concerns over 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), the embattled state investment fund at the center of probes from Switzerland to Singapore, has spurred the biggest outflow of foreign funds in eight months.
Malaysia’s benchmark stock index has erased most of its gains after climbing to this year’s high in April. The prolonged impact of 1MDB is prompting investors to seek out other markets in Southeast Asia, according to Baring Asset Management………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Samruk-Kazyna Group of Companies under the Privatization Plan for 2016-2020 to Auction 10 Companies until the End of July

Posted on 30 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Samruk-Kazyna Group of Companies will place various ownership interests in 10 companies to the electronic auction by the end of July. The share sale is planned in the framework of implementation of the Comprehensive Privatization Plan for 2016-2020 approved by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
“The State Commission for Economic Modernization under the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan approved the sale of different shares in 10 Samruk-Kazyna companies”. Auctions of 5 assets of JSC NC Kazakhstan Engineering, 3 assets of JSC NAC Kazatomprom, 2 assets of Samruk-Energy JSC are scheduled until the end of July, - said the Managing Director for Asset Optimization - Member of the Management Board of Samruk-Kazyna JSC Berik Beisengaliyev……………………………………….Full Article: Source

1MDB Unit Bought by China Nuclear Firm Was Distressed, Auditor Says

Posted on 27 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An audit of a key energy group sold by troubled state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd. to a Chinese state-owned nuclear-power company flagged deep uncertainty over the company’s viability.
Notes from auditor Deloitte in the 140-page financial accounts of Edra Global Energy Bhd. for the year ended March 31, 2015, said the audit found “an existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the group’s and company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

FINMA links BSI Singapore, BSI Swiss to 1MDB

Posted on 27 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In a massive revelation, the Swiss financial market supervisory authority FINMA has conclusively linked troubled bank BSI AG and its Singapore branch, to the global scandal surrounding Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB. FINMA said through business relationships and transactions linked to the corruption scandals surrounding 1MDB, BSI AG committed serious breaches of money laundering regulations.
It said in the case of 1MDB, there were deliberate management decisions made by the bank that led FINMA to reach its conclusions of corruption and money laundering accusations. Transactions involving 1MDB were executed within the client group and with THIRD PARTIES without the bank adequately clarifying their commercial justification………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway to regulate $850 billion fund’s tax haven exposure-lawmakers

Posted on 27 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway will take a first step this week towards using its $850 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, as a tool to combat the use of tax havens, two key members of parliament’s finance committee told Reuters on Wednesday.
The country’s right-wing minority government will be asked to take a two-pronged approach to regulation, examining both the fund’s own use of ownership structures designed to cut its liability for tax on its foreign investments as well as that of companies it invests in, the politicians said. The move follows the Panama Papers leaks in April, which revealed details of corporate and individual tax evasion and triggered a global backlash against tax havens………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway to regulate $850 billion fund’s tax haven exposure-lawmakers

Posted on 26 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway will take a first step this week towards using its $850 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, as a tool to combat the use of tax havens, two key members of parliament’s finance committee told Reuters on Wednesday.
The country’s right-wing minority government will be asked to take a two-pronged approach to regulation, examining both the fund’s own use of ownership structures designed to cutits liability for tax on its foreign investments as well as that of companies it invests in, the politicians said. The move follows the Panama Papers leaks in April, which revealed details of corporate and individual tax evasion and triggered a global backlash against tax havens………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Hong Kong Monetary Authority looks to improve banks’ cyber security

Posted on 26 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The banking regulator began a three-month consultation into the initiative on Tuesday, designed to ensure banks are ready to face online threats. The banking regulator is considering plans to require banks in the city to assess their resilience to cyber attacks and ways to train more qualified cybersecurity experts. From Tuesday, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority began a three-month consultation into the initiative.
The latest policy drive, which was named the “Cybersecurity Fortification Initiative”, was announced after the authority’s chief executive Norman Chan Tak-lam said at the Cyber Security Summit last week that the city’s financial sector could not be complacent, even though there were very few cases of serious cyberattacks reported in the past in Hong Kong………………………………………..Full Article: Source

No more bailouts for 1MDB

Posted on 26 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

All parties must ensure that 1Malay­­­sia Development Berhad (1MDB) does not borrow from public funds to “rescue” the national investment body. “There is nothing to hide. On questions on using funds from (Govern­ment) institutions to save 1MDB, I think we are all responsible to ensure that 1MDB will no longer borrow from them,” said Deputy Fi­­nance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani in response to a supplementary question by Datuk Mansor Othman (PKR-Nibong Tebal).
Mansor had asked how 1MDB’s debt rationalisation plan could be carried out without using public funds such as from Tabung Haji and the Armed Forces Fund Board………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Najib: No misappropriation in 1MDB’s accounts

Posted on 26 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There was no misappropriation in 1MDB’s accounts and administration, only weaknesses in the administration of the company, the Dewan Rakyat was told today. Prime Minister Najib Razak said this in a written reply to Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) who had asked the finance minister to specify the course of action taken against the 1MDB management after the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report.
In his reply, Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, cited the PAC report, which he said had stated there was no misappropriation in the embattled state investment fund’s accounts administration. “There were only weaknesses in the administration of the company………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs sees Malaysian deals evaporate amid 1MDB concerns

Posted on 25 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When Malaysia’s largest sovereign wealth fund asked bankers to pitch for work arranging a US$750 million bond sale in December, one big name was conspicuous by its absence: Goldman Sachs.
Khazanah Nasional Bhd omitted the Wall Street firm from the list of banks invited to bid on that and other bond transactions in the past three years, according to a person familiar with the matter. During that time, Goldman slid down the Malaysian deal league tables, cold-shouldered by potential clients concerned about negative publicity from its dealings with 1Malaysia Development Bank Bhd (1MDB), another government entity………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BSI in serious breach of money laundering regulations: FINMA full statement

Posted on 25 May 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Through business relationships and transactions linked to the corruption scandals surrounding the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, BSI AG committed serious breaches of money laundering regulations and “fit and proper” requirements. This is the outcome of enforcement proceedings launched by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.
In the case of 1MDB, the bank executed numerous large transactions with unclear purpose over a period of several years and, despite clearly suspicious indications, did not clarify the background to these transactions. Among other measures, FINMA has ordered the disgorgement of profits amounting to CHF 95 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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