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A-G Chambers helping Swiss probe into 1MDB

Posted on 13 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) is assisting its Swiss counterpart with investigations into troubled Malaysian state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
In response to press queries, the AGC confirmed yesterday that it received a request for mutual legal assistance from the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG), for information and documents on certain fund flows from 1MDB and entities related to it. The AGC will “render all possible assistance… expeditiously”, it said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Swiss Widen Inquiry Into Malaysian Fund to Include 2 Emirati Officials

Posted on 13 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Swiss authorities said on Tuesday that they had started a criminal investigation into two officials in charge of a sovereign wealth fund in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, as part of an inquiry into the financial transactions of the troubled Malaysian state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
The attorney general’s office in Switzerland said in a statement that it had widened its corruption investigation into the Malaysian fund, also known as 1MDB, to include the two Emirati officials over an apparent misappropriation of payments. The officials were being investigated for fraud, criminal mismanagement, money laundering, bribery and forgery, the attorney general’s office said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Swiss AG has ‘elements’ to suspect 2 officials, movie firm benefited from 1MDB funds

Posted on 13 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has “elements in hand’ to suspect that money paid for the guarantee of bonds issued to fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) power plants have benefited “two public officials” and “a company related to the motion picture industry.”
In a statement, OAG said it has reasons to suspect that the money was not returned to the Abu Dhabi sovereign fund to support “the commercial risk.” “1MDB subsidiaries issued two series of bonds to finance investments in electric power plants,” it said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway’s Wealth Fund Faces Demonstration Over Tax Havens

Posted on 12 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norwegian opposition parties and organizations are planning protests outside parliament in Oslo to pressure the country’s $850 billion sovereign wealth fund to dump investments in tax havens, seizing on the indignation that has followed the Panama leaks.
More than 35 groups including the Socialist Left Party, the Labor Party’s youth wing, and the Tax Justice Network are lending their support to a demonstration outside parliament in the city’s center at 6:30 p.m. local time, according to the event’s Facebook page. About 450 people have so far registered their intention to participate………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Raub MP: Find out how TIA became 1MDB

Posted on 11 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mohd Ariff SabrI calls for answers from Ahmad Said, 1MDB’s ex-boss Shahrol Azral and AmInvestment Bank. Raub MP Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz has called for the former menteri besar of Terengganu to reveal the details of how the state sovereign wealth fund Terengganu Investment Authority became 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
He said the Public Accounts Committee report on 1MDB tabled in Parliament this week had been silent about TIA’s formation, which led to its takeover by the federal government and renamed 1MDB. “The MB of Terengganu then must now reveal to all what were the terms set out by Menteri Besar Incorporated of Terengganu,” said Mohd Ariff in a blog posting………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia Calls for Criminal Probe of 1MDB Fund Executives

Posted on 08 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Report by parliament inquiry found that billions of dollars have gone missing from state investment fund. A Malaysian parliament inquiry found that billions of dollars have gone missing from a state investment fund and recommended that senior management should face criminal investigation.
The findings by the Public Accounts Committee mark the first time a Malaysian investigating body has leveled allegations of fraud at 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, which is the focus of corruption investigations in Malaysia and at least six other nations………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia Parliament Group Slams State Fund Board for 1MDB Scandal

Posted on 08 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Malaysian parliamentary inquiry on Thursday slammed the board of state fund 1MDB for being irresponsible and urged a probe into its former chief, but stopped short of implicating Prime Minister Najib Razak who was an advisor for the troubled firm.
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said senior management at 1Malaysia Development Bhd withheld crucial information from the board and made transactions without its knowledge or approval………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway proposes changes to SWF targets

Posted on 07 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s government proposed on Tuesday to remove the 5% real-estate target from its sovereign-wealth fund and prohibit it from investing in infrastructure. The country’s $850 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, is currently mandated to invest 60% of its holdings in stocks, 35% in fixed income and 5% in real estate.
Removing the real-estate target, a move that requires parliamentary approval, would leave the responsibility to Norway’s central bank, which manages the fund, to decide how much it invests in property, within a 7% limit, the government said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Norway Proposes Changes to Sovereign-Wealth Fund Targets

Posted on 06 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norway’s government proposed on Tuesday to remove the 5% real-estate target from its sovereign-wealth fund and prohibit it from investing in infrastructure. The country’s $850 billion sovereign-wealth fund, the world’s largest, is currently mandated to invest 60% of its holdings in stocks, 35% in fixed income and 5% in real estate.
Removing the real-estate target, a move which requires parliamentary approval, would leave the responsibility to Norway’s central bank, which manages the fund, to decide how much it invests in property, within a 7% limit, the government said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Under Pressure to Exit Tax Havens

Posted on 06 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Norwegian lawmakers are pushing for the country’s $850 billion sovereign wealth fund to drop all investments in companies that use tax havens as indignation over the practice swells.“Norway will have a serious problem in explaining how we can continue using the world’s biggest fund to legitimize robber states that are hiding corrupt money,” said Snorre Valen, a lawmaker for the Socialist Left, who urged other parties in parliament to back the initiative.
The fund has an estimated 200 billion kroner ($24 billion) in assets parked in tax havens, according to Valen………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Amid 1MDB Probes, BSI Suffers Exits and Wrangling Over Liability

Posted on 06 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Global investigations into a troubled Malaysian state investment fund have cast a deepening shadow over one of the fund’s Swiss bankers, BSI SA.
Several senior employees have left BSI’s Singapore office in recent months or are leaving, including the three members of the bank committee that vetted major new clients at a time when money flowed in from 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, and related entities, according to people familiar with matter. None of the three have been accused of wrongdoing………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB gets time extension to hold AGM, submit audited statements

Posted on 05 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has been given an extension by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) till Sept 30, 2016 to hold its AGM and approve its audited financial statements for the financial year ended March 31, 2015.
It said in a statement that it was currently unable to prepare its financial statements for audit pending the return of the relevant financial documents seized during a raid on July 8, 2015. The initial deadline for 1MDB to submit its accounts had been Sept 30, 2015, but the CCM gave it an extension to March 31, 2016………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UN Security Council to lift Libya’s fund sanctions once unity government is installed

Posted on 05 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libya’s sovereign wealth fund sanctions will be given considerations by the U.N Security Council. This move will only be possible if a unity government will be formed to take control of the funds as well as Libya’s Central Bank and the National Oil Corporation.
In 2011, the U.N council froze the assets of the Libyan Investment Authority after the fall of is former leader Muammar Gaddafi in order for the funds to be safe, but this action has led the country to a deeper disarray as per Reuters. As reported by the ABC News, Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya’s U.N Ambassador, was surprised due to government inaction regarding the request for an exemption from U.N sanctions for the LIA so that it will be able to manage the frozen assets while it is still under the control of the U.N……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Sovereign wealth funds to collaborate with Hedge Fund Standards Board

Posted on 05 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The global network of sovereign wealth funds has forged a relationship with the Hedge Fund Standards Board, in part to help to foster a constructive dialogue with hedge funds, and to give sovereign wealth funds a voice in the setting of hedge fund standards.
The relationship, between the HFSB and the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, will help to ensure that sovereign wealth funds are active participants in HFSB activities and in the process of setting standards for the hedge funds industry………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SWF: State govts to get dividends in 2018

Posted on 04 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

State governments will have to wait till 2018 and pray that the three funds of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) make consistent profits before they can start receiving dividends on their Sovereign Wealth Investment (SWI).
National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) Managing Director of the Authority, Uche Orji said: “the law says after five years of profitability in each of the three funds, that is when the state governments will start getting dividends. “If things continue like this in the next two years our anticipation is that we will start paying dividends to the states by the end the of 2017 to 2018.’’……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Libya urges UN to act to protect sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 04 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libya pressed the United Nations Security Council on Thursday to take urgent action to allow the managers of its sovereign wealth fund to move money between frozen accounts so the value can be protected and returns can be maximized.
Libya’s U.N. Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi told the council that he was “surprised” there had been no response to the government’s request last week for an exemption from U.N. sanctions for the Libyan Investment Authority so it can manage frozen assets while they remain under U.N. sanctions. Without an exemption, Dabbashi said, the council will be responsible “for all the losses recorded by the Libyan body.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Libyan unity government may get access to Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted on 04 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Libyan Ambassador to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi, wants the UN to approve a sanctions exemption for the Libyan sovereign wealth fund (LIA). The LIA was controlled by the Gadaffi family.
Dabbashi complained about ineffective management of the frozen assets. The sanctions were imposed to stop Gaddafi from escaping with Libya’s wealth. Dabbashi said: “The LIA estimates that in 2014 alone, instead of increasing the value of its assets base, it had real losses of $721 million………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Luxembourg launches probe in Malaysia PM Najib Razak fund scandal

Posted on 04 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Luxembourg’s state prosecutor has launched a judicial inquiry into allegations of money laundering involving hundreds of millions of dollars against Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The prosecutor said on Thursday that the inquiry followed evidence that funds held by the Malaysian government in offshore accounts in Singapore, Switzerland and Luxembourg had been misused. “The investigation aims to trace the origin of four transfers in 2012 and one in at the start of 2013 for a total of several hundreds of millions of dollars,” a statement from the prosecutor’s office said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Authorities Investigating Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Focusing on Bond Proceeds

Posted on 04 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investigators in three countries studying trail of cash from Malaysia to Abu Dhabi, offshore bank accounts. Authorities in three countries investigating a Malaysian government investment fund appear to be focusing on what happened to the proceeds of $3.5 billion in bonds sold by the fund in 2012, according to people familiar with the matter.
Investigators in the United Arab Emirates, Luxembourg and Switzerland are looking at the trail of cash from Malaysia to Abu Dhabi and to offshore bank accounts for a portion of the bond proceeds that appears to have gone missing, the people said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore’s GIC gets P217-M tax refund

Posted on 04 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has granted a P216.9-million tax refund on the interest income earned on Treasury bond (T-bond) investments made by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund in 2012. In a 23-page decision dated March 17, the CTA First Division said GIC Pte. Ltd., owned and controlled by the Singapore government, is entitled to a tax exemption under the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC).
Monetary benefits from interest income on T-bonds are subject to a 20% final withholding tax to be remitted by the Bureau of the Treasury to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait: Cabinet rejects prosecutions in the sovereign fund probe

Posted on 01 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Cabinet has rejected recommendations by members of parliament to prosecute officials of its sovereign wealth fund for allegedly violating regulations in managing the country’s oil wealth, Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh said on Wednesday evening.
“I assert my confidence in those in charge of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) until proven otherwise,” Saleh told reporters after a closed meeting of parliament to discuss an investigation of the KIA’s London arm, the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO). Kuwaiti MPs travelled to London last year to probe the KIO’s operations and check whether there was enough official oversight of it………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya: UN to ‘lift fund sanctions’ if government regains control

Posted on 01 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The UN has said it will consider lifting sanctions on Libya’s sovereign wealth fund if a UN-backed government can regain control of the country. The sovereign wealth fund contains an estimated $67bn but has been restricted by sanctions since 2011.
The UN-backed unity government arrived in Tripoli on Wednesday but remains confined to the capital’s port area after reports of gunfire in the city. The new government is opposed by the coalition that controls Tripoli………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya asks UN to ease sanctions on wealth fund

Posted on 01 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libya on Thursday asked the UN Security Council to allow its sovereign wealth fund to manage accounts frozen under UN sanctions and recover billions of dollars in annual losses.
Libyan Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi requested the exemption for the Libyan Investment Authority to allow the management of frozen assets while they remain under UN sanctions. Dabbashi told the council he was “surprised” that there had been no response to his request outlined in a letter last week. “This means that the council will be responsible, from now on, for all the losses recorded by the Libyan body,” Dabbashi said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Luxembourg money laundering inquiry into Malaysian state fund

Posted on 01 April 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Luxembourg’s state prosecutor has launched a judicial inquiry into allegations of money laundering involving hundreds of millions of dollars against Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The prosecutor said on Thursday that the inquiry followed evidence that funds held by the Malaysian government in offshore accounts in Singapore, Switzerland and Luxembourg had been misused. “The investigation aims to trace the origin of four transfers in 2012 and one in at the start of 2013 for a total of several hundreds of millions of dollars,” a statement from the prosecutor’s office said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya requests U.N. sanctions exemption for sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libya is asking the U.N. Security Council to approve a sanctions exemption for its blacklisted sovereign wealth fund to halt billion-dollar losses caused by ineffective management of frozen assets, according to a letter released on Wednesday.
The letter from Libya’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, said the losses incurred at the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) are the result of U.N. sanctions imposed in 2011 to prevent the government of former leader Muammar Gaddafi from spiriting away the country’s wealth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kuwait says no prosecutions in sovereign fund probe

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Kuwait’s cabinet has rejected recommendations by members of parliament to prosecute officials of its sovereign wealth fund for allegedly violating regulations in managing the country’s oil wealth, Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh said on Wednesday.
“I assert my confidence in those in charge of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) until proven otherwise,” Saleh told reporters after a closed meeting of parliament to discuss an investigation of the KIA’s London arm, the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB Probe Shows Malaysian Leader Najib Spent Millions on Luxury Goods

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Malaysian investigation documents, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, contain bank-transfer information that provides the most complete picture to date of the money that flowed through the prime minister’s accounts over a five-year period, the majority of it, investigators say, originating from 1MDB.
They show for the first time how some of the money in Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s accounts allegedly was used for personal expenses. That included $15 million in spending on clothes, jewelry and a car, according to the bank-transfer information, involving stores in the U.S., Malaysia, Italy and elsewhere………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysian lawyer ‘probed for sedition’

Posted on 31 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Billions of dollars have allegedly gone missing from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, and the scandal has engulfed Prime Minister Najib Razak, who chairs the fund’s advisory board. There are at least four international investigations into the money said to be missing from the fund, known as 1MDB.
Malaysia’s attorney-general, meanwhile, has shut down an investigation into money deposited into the prime minister’s account by an unnamed donor from the Middle East………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Najib Razak 1MDB scandal: Malaysian Prime Minister’s accounts triggered internal money-laundering alarm

Posted on 29 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

So much money was pouring so rapidly into the Malaysian Prime Minister’s personal bank accounts that it rang internal money-laundering alarms inside AmBank, a major Malaysian institution part-owned by Australia’s ANZ.
Hundreds of millions of dollars were being wired into Najib Razak’s accounts from the Saudi Arabian Government, a mysterious Saudi prince and two shadowy British Virgin Island companies, while the head of a Malaysian state-owned company topped up the Prime Minister’s credit card accounts with millions of Malaysian ringgit in cash………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Differences between the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Ministry of Finance

Posted on 24 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Everyone must have heard of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) in Singapore. They are two key entities in the local financial scene and greatly impact everyone living in Singapore. But do people really understand what these two entities do and how they differ?
Singapore’s reserves are managed by the MOF and distributed to three entities - MAS, GIC and Temasek. MAS manages Singapore’s foreign reserves. GIC and Temasek are fund management entities with the objective of achieving long-term returns to Singapore’s assets. Note that CPF monies are also distributed to GIC and MAS for investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman-1MDB Probe Zeroes In on Bond Deals

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investigation focuses on whether Wall Street firm misled investors when it sold securities issued by Malaysian fund. U.S. authorities are investigating whether Goldman Sachs Group Inc. misled bondholders when the firm sold securities issued by a Malaysian government-investment fund that is at the center of a corruption scandal, according to a person familiar with the matter.
As part of an inquiry being examined by a U.S. grand jury, investigators are trying to determine if Goldman’s employees had reason to believe that some of the proceeds from bond deals done for the fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., known as 1MDB, weren’t being used for their intended purpose, the person said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Qatar sets 5% limit for shareholders of listed banks

Posted on 23 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors must limit their holdings in publicly-traded banks and financial firms in Qatar to 5 per cent of a company’s capital, or 10 per cent with a central bank waiver, according to regulations published on Monday.
Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, owns stakes including 51.9 per cent of Qatar National Bank SAQ and 17.4 per cent of Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Real estate developer Ezdan Holding Group’s assets include 9.9 per cent of QIB and 21.5 per cent of Qatar International Islamic Bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Azerbaijan’s president approves amendments to SOFAZ budget

Posted on 21 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has signed a decree on March 18 to make amendments to the 2016 budget of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ). Under the amendments, SOFAZ revenues and expenditures for 2016 were set at 4,578,474,600 manats and 10,668,933,700 manats, respectively.
Revenues from the sale of Azerbaijan’s profit oil and gas are forecasted at 3,875,682,400 manats, and the revenues from oil and gas transit through Azerbaijan’s territory at 19.278 million manats. In addition, the SOFAZ revenues from placement and management of assets are envisaged at 679,950,200 manats, and the bonuses paid by investors within oil and gas agreements, or in connection with their implementation at 162,000 manats………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SOFAZ takes corrective measures to return EITI full member status

Posted on 16 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) is taking corrective measures for return of the status of full membership in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
SOFAZ reports that “during the current year it is expected to review progress on corrective measures established by the EITI Board, on the basis of which the EITI Board should decide on the issue of the status of Azerbaijan”………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Have the sovereign wealth billions been found?

Posted on 16 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While the debate on Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund debacle raged sometime in December, 2013, available statistics on the spiraling figures did not add up then with reasons adduced in government circles.
A member of the committee then, Senator Ita Enang and former Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had quoted different figures of funds accruing to the Excess Crude Account (ECA) during the Joint Senate Committee of Finance and Appropriations on the 2013 budget and federal revenue-generating agencies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Falcon bank says no business impact from 1MDB probe

Posted on 11 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Falcon Private Bank has not seen an impact on its business following publicity about an investigation into the activities of a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, the Swiss bank’s chief executive said. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that investigators had traced nearly US$700 million from an account at Falcon Private Bank in Singapore to accounts in Malaysia they believed belonged to Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Falcon, owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund International Petroleum Investment Company, has said it is in contact with Singapore’s central bank and will cooperate with authorities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Falcon Private Bank says no business impact from Malaysia probe

Posted on 10 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Falcon Private Bank has not seen an impact on its business following publicity about an investigation into the activities of a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, the Swiss bank’s chief executive said. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that investigators had traced nearly $700 million from an account at Falcon Private Bank in Singapore to accounts in Malaysia they believed belonged to Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Falcon, owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund International Petroleum Investment Company, has said it is in contact with Singapore’s central bank and will cooperate with authorities. The Malaysian fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, is being investigated by several authorities, including Malaysia, Switzerland and the United States………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Chinese investment in Australia needs closer scrutiny

Posted on 09 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The $3 billion purchase of Australia’s Pacific Hydro by China’s State Power Investment Corporation is not mentioned but is ­worthy of scrutiny, as are efforts by Chinese electricity companies to extend their influence over our electricity networks through tenders.
David Irvine’s comment that China already has the cyber capacity to shut down Australia’s electricity network is cited as a basis for no longer needing to care about who owns our strategic ­infrastructure………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Malaysia 1MDB Scandal: Former Goldman Sachs Top Banker Tim Leissner Subpoenaed By US Investigators

Posted on 09 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A former senior official at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has been subpoenaed by American authorities investigating a Malaysian government investment fund, according to reports Tuesday. Tim Leissner, the former chairman of the Southeast Asian division of the investment bank, was issued a subpoena after he resigned in February.
Leissner worked on several significant deals for the state-run fund, the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), which together netted hundreds of millions of dollars for the investment bank, Bloomberg reported………………………………………..Full Article: Source

LIA leadership case adjourned, judge says premature to rule

Posted on 09 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A court case over the leadership claims of two rival heads of Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund was adjourned in London’s High Court on Monday, the judge declaring it would be premature to rule while moves were afoot to form a government of national accord.
Both Hassan Bouhadi, appointed by the internationally recognised government based in Tobruk, and AbdulMagid Breish both claim to be rightful chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) - a long-running dispute that mirrors the fragmented nature of the country since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UK judge delays battle over leadership of Libya wealth fund

Posted on 08 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A British judge has adjourned a hearing on rival claims to head Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund, saying Monday that he expects Libya to clarify the situation soon. Hassan Bouhadi and Abdulmagid Breish both claim to be chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority.
Libya has splintered since Moammar Gadhafi was deposed in 2011, with two rival governments vying for control and Islamic State group-linked militants gaining in strength amid the chaos. Tripoli-based Breish claims to be the authority’s legitimate head, but Bouhadi says he was appointed by the internationally recognized government based in eastern Libya………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya’s factions squabble over Gaddafi’s sovereign wealth fund

Posted on 08 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The dispute over who controls the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) reached London’s High Court on Monday, with $67 billion in assets at stake. The case has the potential to lay the ground for further lawsuits against Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale over the alleged mismanagement of $3 billion.
Amid the 2011 uprising against the Gaddafi regime, the UN Security Council froze the assets of the LIA and 85% of the fund’s assets remain frozen to this day. However, it is not even clear who holds responsibility for the fund. In 2014, the Council of Deputies replaced AbdulMagid Breish with Hassan Bouhadi, but Mr. Breish was later reinstated by the Libyan Court of Appeal in Tripoli. So the LIA has two chairmen vying for control over the fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Twists and turns as battle for Gaddafi-era sovereign fund billions rumbles on in London courts

Posted on 08 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The two men competing for control of Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund asked a London judge to decide who has the right to oversee lawsuits seeking to recover billions of dollars lost in deals with French transnational bank Societe Generale SA and Goldman Sachs Group Inc in the US.
Abdulmagid Breish, who is based in Tripoli, and Hassan Bouhadi, who wants to lead the Libya Investment Authority (LIA) from Malta, both argue they are the sole chairman of the fund. The LIA, set up in 2006 to manage Libya’s growing oil revenue surplus, is already the largest sovereign wealth fund in Africa. The 2011 overthrow and death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi left behind a violent power struggle that continues to blight the oil-rich nation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Guyana SWF: Gov’t must get cracking on anti-corruption plans

Posted on 08 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Since Guyana will in the future be an oil producing country with a Sovereign Wealth Fund, former Speaker of the National Assembly Ralph Ramkarran on Saturday urged the APNU+AFC government to swiftly establish anti-corruption mechanisms to prevent dishonest dealings.
“In a few short years we will be joining the club of oil producers. If we allow Guyana to enter that club with an ingrained ethic of corruption still festering, no amount of posturing about the securing and protecting of oil profits in a Sovereign Wealth Fund will prevent the skimming off from the top, before the funds reach the Sovereign Wealth Fund, of a significant portion by corrupt deeds and transactions,” Ramkarran warned………………………………………..Full Article: Source

OSA label to be lifted from 1MDB audit report

Posted on 08 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Public Accounts Committee said the final audit report on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) will no longer be classified as an official secret after being tabled in Parliament. In a statement on Monday, PAC chairman Hasan Arifin said the report will remain under the Official Secrets Act only until it is tabled in Parliament.
“The final audit report on the fund management of 1MDB will no longer remain under the Act. “The decision to classify the final audit report under OSA was made by Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, who is responsible to ensure the credibility of the National Audit Department………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB audit report ‘secret’ until tabled in Parliament

Posted on 08 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The report on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) probe is classified an official secret by Auditor-General Ambrin Buang, and not by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee. This clarification was made by PAC’s chief Hasan Arifin.
He said contrary to popular belief, the final audit report on 1MDB was classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972 — until the PAC report on the struggling state investment firm’s alleged mismanagement was tabled in Parliament. “This differs from the annual Auditor-General’s Report , which is first tabled in Parliament, making it a public document. This is the usual practice after which the report will then be presented to the PAC by the Auditor-General………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Battle between rival chairmen of Libya’s $67 billion fund reaches UK court

Posted on 07 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A long-running dispute over the leadership of Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund reaches London’s High Court on Monday, potentially paving the way for litigation against two global investment banks to move forward. The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) wants to pursue Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale in the English courts for more than $3 billion it claims was mismanaged. Both banks have rejected the allegations.
The fund, however, is mired in a power struggle between two rival chairmen, Hassan Bouhadi and AbdulMagid Breish. The dispute mirrors the fragmented nature of the country following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Bouhadi was appointed as head of the LIA in October 2014 by the LIA’s board of trustees, populated by leaders of the House of Representatives………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Brother of ex-British PM Blair expected to judge Libyan sovereign fund case

Posted on 07 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

William Blair, brother of ex-British prime minister Tony Blair, is expected to be appointed judge in the long-running dispute over the leadership of Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund, sources on both sides of the case said.
The case is to be heard in London’s High Court from Monday. The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is in a power struggle between two rival chairmen, Hassan Bouhadi and AbdulMagid Breish. The dispute mirrors the fragmented nature of the country following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shafie slams ‘secret’ report on 1MDB

Posted on 07 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Former rural and regional development minister Shafie Apdal has questioned the federal government’s decision to classify as an official secret the final audit report on 1Malaysia Development Bhd. Shafie said: “Why must they use OSA? If there’s nothing to hide, the report should be revealed. Why do they want it to be hidden?”
The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Hasan Arifin, had said on Friday that the Auditor-General had classified the final report of its 1MDB audit under the Official Secrets Act because of leaks of information from an interim report to the committee, submitted last July………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sovereign Wealth Funds: the Struggle for Accountability

Posted on 04 March 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Sovereign wealth funds have become some of the largest and most visible investors in international capital markets. Due to public concerns about their virtually unchecked power, a global code of practice (referred to as Santiago Principles or Generally Accepted Principles and Practices - GAPP) was instituted to improve their governance.
A new study takes a look behind the scenes to reveal the processes and actors that drove the creation of this new governance regime, which intends to make sovereign funds more accountable………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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