KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — State-investment arm 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) will withdraw its investments in the Cayman Island with a six per cent return, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said today.
Deflecting opposition claims that much of the money was lost in the allegedly unaccounted for investment, the Pontian MP said currently 60 per cent of the investment have been withdrawn and the rest will follow by year end.
“There is no reason to suspect that the money is lost. Such matters does not arise,” Ahmad said in his winding up of the Budget 2015 debate in the Dewan Rakyat here.
Opposition lawmakers had previously raised stink over revelations that an obscure Hong Kong firm, Bridge Partners, is managing about US$2.3 billion (RM7.6 billion) of 1MDB’s funds.
The money was invested in the Cayman Islands, according to a report by the Singapore Business Times.
Citing documents it had seen, the paper said the US$2.3 billion is invested in unlisted open-ended funds that focus on the energy sector.
The funds were invested through 1MDB’s wholly-owned unit Brazen Sky Ltd, the report added.
Speaking to reporters outside the Dewan Rakyat, Ahmad said much of the money withdrawn from the Cayman Island investment had been invested in projects domestically.
“They are projects like TRX (financial centre Tun Razak Exchange) and several other projects that is helping us reduce debt,” he said.
Ahmad also said 1MDB will be given full autonomy to determine how to invest that money, despite opposition concern that the investment arm was pouring taxpayers money into dubious deals.
“That we let 1MDB decide… they have world class advisors,” he said.
At the end of April, 1MDB said its board has full control over its funds managed in the Cayman Islands.
“The fund is managed under the mandate given by 1MDB and 1MDB can withdraw the funds as it so determines,” it added.
1MDB, which is wholly-owned by the government of Malaysia, booked a loss of RM665.36 million in its previous financial year, a local daily reported today citing a filing with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM).
According to a report by The Star, 1MDB’s filing showed a loss before tax of RM668.55 million against reported revenues of RM4.258 billion.
The filing was made after the sovereign wealth fund closed its books yesterday, some seven months after the end of its financial year in March 31, 2014.
The loss was smaller, however, than that registered in its previous financial year, when it suffered losses of RM778.243 million.
Meanwhile 1MDB claimed its non-current assets now stood at RM31.879 billion while current assets were at RM19.529 billion. It continues to hold a total of RM48.5 billion in both non-current and current liabilities.