Recovered 1MDB funds only enough to repay debt principal for 2022: Malaysia

FILE PHOTO: Men walk past a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the fund's flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur March 1, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Malaysia said on Thursday it has recovered enough funds linked to scandal-tainted state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to pay off only the principal amount of the debt still owed by the firm this year.

1MDB raised billions of dollars in bonds, ostensibly for investment projects and joint ventures, between 2009 and 2013.

Authorities, however, believe more than $4.5 billion were allegedly misappropriated from the fund by high-level officials and their associates in an elaborate globe-spanning criminal scheme.

Malaysia’s finance ministry in a statement said a trust account set up to collect recovered 1MDB funds has received 19.1 billion ringgit ($4.58 billion), including $80 million from audit firm KPMG paid to settle a lawsuit filed against it by 1MDB.

The government has repaid 13.3 billion ringgit of 1MDB‘s debt so far, with 38.81 billion ringgit still outstanding as of Dec. 31, the ministry said.

“The current balance of the trust account is sufficient to pay off only the principal amount of the bonds for 2022,” it said.

“Once all the trust account funds are utilised, the government will continue to bear the obligation to pay the balance of 1MDB‘s debts.”

The ministry said it remained committed to 1MDB asset recovery efforts and to ensure enough funds to manage the national financial burden created by the scandal.

At least six countries have launched investigations into 1MDB, co-founded by former Prime Minister Najib Razak, in a scandal that has implicated high-level officials, banks and financial institutions around the world.

A Malaysian court last month upheld a conviction against Najib, who has been sentenced to 12 years in prison and millions in fines over corruption and money laundering linked to funds misappropriated from a 1MDB unit.

He denies wrongdoing and remains out on bail pending another appeal.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.