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Singapore Seizures Ensnare Three Big Banks in Sovereign Fund Scandal

Posted on 22 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The scandal surrounding Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund 1MDB has roped in three major banks, with Singapore’s investigations alleging failures and weaknesses at DBS Bank (DBSDY), Standard Chartered (SCBFF) and UBS (UBS) . That comes right after the largest-ever forfeiture complaint by the kleptocracy unit of the U.S. Justice Department, which has filed to seize more than $1 billion in assets in the United States.
Singapore has seized S$240 million ($177 million) in suspicious bank accounts in the city, its forces said in a statement issued on Wednesday. Half of the money belongs to the Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho — a socialite known as Jho Low — and his family………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Trial date for Libya fund suit against SocGen pushed back to April

Posted on 22 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A trial date for a lawsuit brought by Libya’s $67 billion (51 billion pounds) sovereign wealth fund against French investment bank Societe Generale was pushed back to April 25, 2017, by a judge’s ruling in London’s High Court.
The case, in which the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is pursuing Societe Generale for some $2.1 billion in relation to disputed trades, was originally scheduled to come to trial in January 2017. The judge’s ruling came in response to a request for an adjournment by lawyers for the French bank, who had cited the volume of work that still needed to be done………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. Sues To Recover Funds Allegedly Stolen From Malaysian Government Fund

Posted on 21 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed civil complaints seeking to recover a billion dollars’ worth of art, real estate and other assets bought with money allegedly stolen from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
U.S. officials say a total of $3.5 billion, raised through bond offerings made by the investment fund 1MDB between 2009 and 2015, was laundered through a series of sham transactions and shell corporations by “high level officials” of the fund and their associates. The U.S. is seeking to reclaim only about $1 billion right now, because that’s how much officials have been able to trace through the system………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US moves to seize $1bn in Malaysia assets

Posted on 21 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Van Gogh paintings, Beverly Hills properties and the rights to profits from the hit movie The Wolf of Wall Street were among $1bn in assets US prosecutors moved to seize on Wednesday as part of a sprawling anti-money laundering investigation into Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund.
In one of the largest seizures in US history, federal law enforcement agents also appeared to link Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, to a web of corrupt officials receiving stolen funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US goes after more than $1B taken from Malaysian fund

Posted on 21 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The United States moved Wednesday to recover more than $1 billion that federal officials say was stolen from a Malaysian economic development fund and that was used for high-end real estate, fancy artwork and production of the Hollywood film, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
The diverted funds paid for luxury properties in New York and California, a $35 million private jet and expensive paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, according to federal government complaints that demand the recovery and forfeiture of the ill-gotten assets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Corrupt officials used Malaysia state fund 1MDB as private bank account

Posted on 21 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch said on Wednesday (July 20) that a number of corrupt officials had treated Malaysia state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) as their private bank account.
She was delivering prepared remarks to announce a new legal action to seize more than US$1 billion (S$1.36 billion) in assets including luxury real estate and a jet allegedly bought with money pilfered from the 1MDB state investment fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs under spotlight in Malaysian fund scandal

Posted on 21 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Goldman Sachs’ work with Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB is under the spotlight over U.S. government allegations that billions of dollars were diverted for the personal use of officials in the southeast Asian country.
The Wall Street bank helped 1MDB raise $6.5 billion in three bond sales in 2012 and 2013 to invest in energy projects and real estate to boost the Malaysian economy. Instead, more than $2.5 billion raised from those bonds was misappropriated by high-level 1MDB officials, their relatives and associates, U.S. Department of Justice civil lawsuits filed in court on Wednesday said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SocGen seeks to push back trial date in Libya fund case

Posted on 20 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

French investment bank Societe Generale on Monday asked for an adjournment to push back the date of a trial in a long-running dispute with Libya’s US$67 billion sovereign wealth fund over a series of trades entered into between 2007 and 2009.
At London’s High Court, Adrian Beltrami, a lawyer acting for SocGen, requested an adjournment, citing the amount of work that still needed to be done before the three-month trial is scheduled to start on January 23, 2017. The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is pursuing the French bank for some US$2.1 billion in relation to the disputed trades………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Big funds push back against activist investor settlements

Posted on 19 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After years of support for companies that hand board seats to activists to avoid a bruising public fight, some of the world’s largest institutional investors are pushing back.
BlackRock Inc , the world’s largest asset manager, and Norges Bank Investment Management, Norway’s $872 billion sovereign wealth fund are among the major funds resisting, encouraging companies to consult them before responding to an activist………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia’s Reserve Fund, National Wealth Fund will not be depleted

Posted on 19 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Reserve Fund and the National Wealth Fund will not be completely depleted, Russian Deputy Minister of Finance Alexeн Moiseev said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper to be published on Tuesday.
“We will not bring the Reserve Fund and the National Wealth Fund to the condition of complete depletion. The budget deficit will be contracted. It will be financed at the expense of renewable sources, privatization and government bonds floating in the first instance. Then expenditures from sovereign funds will stop,” the official said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SocGen seeks to push back trial date in Libya fund case

Posted on 19 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

French investment bank Societe Generale on Monday asked for an adjournment to push back the date of a trial in a long-running dispute with Libya’s $67 billion sovereign wealth fund over a series of trades entered into between 2007 and 2009.
At London’s High Court, Adrian Beltrami, a lawyer acting for SocGen, requested an adjournment, citing the amount of work that still needed to be done before the three-month trial is scheduled to start on January 23, 2017. The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is pursuing the French bank for some $2.1 billion in relation to the disputed trades………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SocGen used the codewords ‘Pizza,’ ‘Zorro,’ and ‘the Men in Black’ to hide corruption, Libyan fund alleges

Posted on 19 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Libya’s sovereign wealth fund is seeking information on alleged “codewords” used by Societe Generale staff to mask bribery and corruption, in a $2 billion (£1.5 billion) lawsuit.
The Libyan Investment Authority asked a London court to require the lender to reveal the meaning of words such as “cooking,” “pizza” and the “Men in Black,” which feature in documents disclosed by SocGen. The LIA is suing SocGen for $2 billion, claiming the bank intimidated and bribed Libyan officials to carry out five trades between 2007 and 2009………………………………………..Full Article: Source

SocGen seeks to push back trial date in Libya fund case

Posted on 19 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

French investment bank Societe Generale on Monday asked for an adjournment to push back the date of a trial in a long-running dispute with Libya’s US$67 billion sovereign wealth fund over a series of trades entered into between 2007 and 2009.
At London’s High Court, Adrian Beltrami, a lawyer acting for SocGen, requested an adjournment, citing the amount of work that still needed to be done before the three-month trial is scheduled to start on January 23, 2017. The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is pursuing the French bank for some US$2.1 billion in relation to the disputed trades………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore ‘in pursuit of 1MDB links’

Posted on 19 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s central bank was scrutinising several banks, including UBS and DBS Group Holdings, to see if they broke rules against money laundering in handling transactions linked to scandal-hit Malaysian state fund 1MDB, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore was looking at several aspects of the banks’ operations, sources said. Switzerland’s Falcon Private Bank and Coutts International, which is owned by Geneva-based Union Bancaire Privee, were also under review, they said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Trades with Goldman too complex for Libya’s SWF

Posted on 18 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Nine disputed trades that Libya’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF) entered into with Goldman Sachs were unsuitable by “dint of risk and complexity”, according to an expert witness at a trial in London’s High Court.
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is attempting to claw back $1.2 billion from Goldman Sachs from the trades carried out in 2008. It argues the 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

UBS, DBS, Falcon face Singapore scrutiny over 1MDB transactions-sources

Posted on 18 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s central bank is scrutinising several banks, including UBS and DBS Group Holdings, to see if they broke anti-money laundering rules in handling transactions linked to scandal-hit Malaysian state fund 1MDB, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is looking at several aspects of the banks’ operations including whether they were diligent enough in knowing who their customers were and what the source of their funds was, and whether they were particularly careful in screening politically-exposed persons such as government officials, banking and legal sources aware of the review said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

UBS ‘flagged shady 1MDB transactions’ to MAS

Posted on 15 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

UBS Group flagged suspicious transactions linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), prompting an investigation of the accounts involved, a person familiar with the matter said. The transactions were not immediately recognised by UBS as suspicious, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
At least US$1.24 billion (S$1.66 billion) was transferred in 2014 from the account of a 1MDB subsidiary held at BSI in Lugano, Switzerland, to a UBS account in Singapore held by what appeared to be a unit of an Abu Dhabi firm, investigative blog Sarawak Report said on July 11. A UBS spokesman declined to comment on the 1MDB transfers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs’ $5 billion Libya trades: most traders wouldn’t see that ‘in their lifetime’

Posted on 15 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An expert witness in the litigation between Goldman Sachs and Libya’s sovereign wealth fund said disputed trades of $5 billion were bigger than most traders would see in their careers, making the profits difficult to compare to industry standards.
Will Lyons, a former head of equity derivatives trading at Santander who is acting as an expert witness for Goldman Sachs, said: “I regard the size of these trades as very large and very seldom would you see transactions this size in the market,” under cross-examination from Roger Masefield, the Libyan Investment Authority’s lawyer on Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UBS said to have flagged suspicious 1MDB transactions to MAS

Posted on 14 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

UBS Group flagged suspicious transactions linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), prompting an investigation of the accounts involved, a person familiar with the matter said.
The transactions were not immediately recognised by UBS as suspicious, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. At least US$1.24 billion (S$1.67 billion) was transferred in 2014 from the account of a 1MDB subsidiary held at BSI SA in Lugano, Switzerland, to a UBS account in Singapore held by what appeared to be a unit of an Abu Dhabi company, UK-based investigative blog Sarawak Report said on July 11………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pua asks whether Deloitte was hoodwinked by 1MDB

Posted on 13 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

DAP lawmaker Tony Pua has questioned whether audit firm Deloitte Malaysia was “bluffed” by 1MDB into believing that the troubled state investment fund had redeemed its controversial Cayman Islands investment in 2014.
At that time, there was great concern over 1MDB’s US$2.318 billion investment in an obscure investment fund based in Cayman Islands. The authenticity of the investment was publicly questioned and the company came under immense pressure, resulting in the demand for the money to be repatriated………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sahara inks Rs 10k crore deal with ‘Qatar fund’ for sale of hotels

Posted on 12 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Sahara group on Monday sought the Supreme Court’s clearance to its proposed sale of three overseas hotels to Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which is part of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.
Appearing for the group, senior advocate Kapil Sibal promised Rs 300 crore more by August 3 and said the group wanted to transfer to the SC-created Sebi-Sahara account Rs 200 crore (24 million pounds) already advanced to it by Kassiopeia Holdings Ltd over the deal relating to Grosvenor House Hotel in London………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB agrees to arbitration request filed by IPIC, Aabar over US$6.5b claim

Posted on 12 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) said it has agreed today to the request for arbitration (RFA) filed by International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) and Aabar Investments PJS (Aabar) at the London Court of International Arbitration.
In a statement, 1MDB said it is confident of its legal position and has submitted a formal and “robust” response to the RFA through its legal counsel, Weil Gotshal & Manges, a specialist in international litigation. “1MDB reiterates that, notwithstanding the dispute with IPIC, it will continue to implement the rationalisation plan and remains able to honour its current debt obligations,” it added………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sahara seeks SC nod for $1.6 bn hotel sale

Posted on 11 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In its application Sahara informed the Supreme Court that it is in advanced stages of negotiations with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)Qatar-based sovereign wealth fund, for sale of its three premium hotels. Sahara’s three prized jewels include - the Grosvenor House in London and the Dream Downtown and New York Plaza in New York.
Sahara informed the court that the two sides have already concluded the signing of the Letter of Intent (LoI). Sahara also revealed that the after negotiations the consideration agreed upon for the cumulative stake of Sahara in all three properties was USD 1.6 bn. Ater the signing of the LoI, talks between Sahara and QIA progressed at a fast clip………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman compliance head queried internship in Libya fund case, court told

Posted on 06 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Goldman Sachs compliance chief raised concerns about an internship the bank provided for the brother of a decision-maker at Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, a court heard on Tuesday. In a trial at London’s High Court, 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.
The LIA argues 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. It cites an internship Goldman Sachs provided for Haitem Zarti, the younger brother of Mustafa Zarti, the LIA’s former deputy chief………………………………………..Full Article: Source

1MDB probe poses risks for Goldman Sachs

Posted on 06 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

US prosecutors are focusing on the bank’s role in advising on three Malaysian bond deals. Two blocks from the White House, in a century-old stone building once owned by Lehman Brothers, federal prosecutors are probing the activities of Goldman Sachs in Malaysia.
Department of Justice officials are investigating whether the Wall Street bank violated the Bank Secrecy Act in its handling of the proceeds of securities offerings for 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state investment fund embroiled in a long-running scandal over claims of misappropriation, according to people familiar with the probe………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi Denies 1MDB Cayman Deal (Video)

Posted on 04 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Malaysia’s troubled 1MDB fund continues to field questions about billions of dollars gone missing. Abu Dhabi Sovereign Fund has denied it guaranteed 1MDB’s holdings in a Cayman Island’s account and says it’s conducting its own inquiry. Bloomberg’s Shamim Adam reports on Bloomberg Markets Middle East.”.………………………………………Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs Executive Says Libya Understood Derivatives

Posted on 01 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In $1.2 billion lawsuit, country’s sovereign-wealth fund accuses Goldman of leading novices into disastrous investment. A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive testified that Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund knew what it was doing when it bought derivatives from the bank that later soured, disputing allegations that Goldman led an inexperienced buyer into a disastrous investment.
The Libyan Investment Authority, or LIA, understood the disputed derivatives it bought from Goldman, Andrea Vella, co-head of Asian investment banking at Goldman, told the High Court in London on Thursday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman Sachs’ Vella Says Bank’s Critics Aren’t Being Honest

Posted on 01 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive Andrea Vella told a London court that former colleagues who criticized the bank, including the author of a book alleging it mistreated clients, were being dishonest because they wanted to make money.
Testifying in a $1 billion trial between Goldman Sachs and Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, Vella dismissed comments from two former employees that cast the bank in a negative light. Vella, co-head of Asia investment banking, was shown a chapter of Greg Smith’s book “Why I Left Goldman Sachs” about hunting elephants, a reference to the relentless pursuit of very large trades………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Goldman exec tells Libya fund trial that offering prostitutes ‘unacceptable’

Posted on 01 July 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A Goldman Sachs executive’s alleged arranging of prostitutes for himself and the brother of a decision-maker at Libya’s sovereign wealth fund was completely unacceptable behaviour for an employee of the bank, the first witness called by Goldman told a court on Thursday.
In a trial at London’s High Court, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is attempting to claw back $1.2 billion (906.34 million pounds) from the Wall Street investment bank from nine disputed trades carried out in 2008………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi to Merge Two State Investment Funds

Posted on 30 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi plans to merge two of its sovereign investments funds, just weeks after the emirate’s largest banks said they are looking to combine, as Persian Gulf governments reshape their economies amid falling oil revenues.
Abu Dhabi’s powerful Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has asked the International Petroleum Investment Company, or IPIC, to merge with Mubadala Development Co., according to a statement carried by the official United Arab Emirates state news agency. Abu Dhabi is one of the seven members of the U.A.E., one of the world’s top oil exporters………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Abu Dhabi’s Two Biggest Investment Funds are Merging: Q&A

Posted on 30 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Abu Dhabi said it will merge two of its largest state-owned investment companies as the emirate grapples with a decline in crude prices and a slowdown in economic growth.
The combination of International Petroleum Investment Co. and Mubadala Development Company PJSC will be overseen by a committee including United Arab Emirates’ Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and oil minister Suhail Al Mazrouei, according to a statement on state-run WAM news agency Wednesday………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libya wealth fund boss ‘screamed and cursed’ at Goldman bankers

Posted on 30 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Libyan wealth fund’s former deputy chief screamed and cursed at Goldman Sachs bankers in a stormy meeting over derivatives trades made on the bank’s advice that ultimately turned out to be worthless, a witness told a court on Tuesday.
In a trial at London’s High Court, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is trying to claw back $1.2 billion from Goldman Sachs related to nine disputed trades carried out in 2008. The LIA argues Goldman took advantage of its financial naivety by first gaining its trust, then encouraging it to make risky and ultimately worthless investments………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Libyan fund officials didn’t understand Goldman trades: lawyer

Posted on 30 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, according to a former lawyer for the fund who gave evidence in the High Court in London on Tuesday.
The Libyan Investment Authority is suing Goldman for $US1.2 billion ($1.62bn) to cover its losses from nine trades arranged in 2008. The trades took the form of equity derivatives and expired worthless in 2011. The LIA allegesthat Goldman executives exerted “undue influence” over its officials, who didn’t understand the trades………………………………………..Full Article: Source

IPIC’s 1MDB row likely driver for Mubadala merger

Posted on 30 June 2016 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The potential merger of Abu Dhabi state funds Mubadala and IPIC is likely to be driven by the latter’s spat with Malaysia’s 1MDB, according to bankers. “It is almost certainly linked to that,” said a UAE-based debt capital markets banker. “IPIC’s name has been somewhat tainted by it.”
IPIC and the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund are embroiled in a legal tussle over a debt restructuring, in which IPIC is claiming about US$6.5bn. The Abu Dhabi fund has asked a London court to arbitrate the dispute, which has also delayed a long-rumoured euro bond deal………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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

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