PETALING JAYA: 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) says it acknowledges and respects the authority of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to revoke its permissions, and to issue any direction it deems fit under the Financial Services Act 2013.
In a statement released on Friday night, it said that despite the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) confirming that 1MDB officials committed no offence, the Government investment arm would continue to cooperate and engage with BNM.
This was in response to BNM’s statement that the central bank had revoked three permissions granted to 1MDB for investments abroad worth US$1.83bil (RM7.58bil).
In a statement on Friday, BNM said the permissions were revoked as the investments were obtained based on "inaccurate or incomplete disclosure of information".
1MDB said it was not for money laundering or other alleged criminal actions as highlighted by certain media and opposition politicians.
“Apart from submitting written answers and sharing relevant documents, 1MDB board members, current and former staff, were interviewed by Bank Negara, with detailed witness statements being recorded,” it said.
However, the AGC, as the legitimate authority for such matters, decided that there was “no offence committed by 1MDB officials” and directed that “no further action should be taken,” reiterated 1MDB.
Notwithstanding this direction by the AGC, BNM has issued a direction for 1MDB to repatriate a sum of US$1.83 billion. "This relates to certain historic permissions granted by Bank Negara between 2009 and 2011 for 1MDB to make overseas investments."
1MDB highlighted that those permissions, when granted, had no requirement for funds to be repatriated.
“Further, the use of those funds had been described in detail in the notes to 1MDB's publicly available financial statements dated 31.03.2009 to 31.03. 2014.”
1MDB stated that the overseas investments of US$1.83bil relate to historic equity and murabaha loan investments in a joint venture with PetroSaudi in 2009-2011, that was eventually converted in September 2012 into fund units valued at US$2.318bil.
“As previously explained by 1MDB to Bank Negara, this sum of US$2.318bil (RM9.6bil) had been redeemed in 2014 and 2015, with proceeds being substantially utilised.
“The remaining US$940mil (RM3.9bil) of fund units, are guaranteed by Aabar and have been ear-marked for a ‘debt for asset swap’ with its ‘AA’ rated parent, IPIC, as part of the 1MDB rationalisation plan,” it said.
1MDB said that it was clear that the original US$1.83bil sum had either been spent or ear-marked for debt settlement arrangements that would result in a substantial reduction of 1MDB’s debt following its rationalisation plan.
1MDB also said that it had painstakingly provided multiple detailed written and verbal explanations of these facts to Bank Negara between June and end-September 2015.