Business

1MDB head denies China talks over repayments

KUALA LUMPUR: State investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is not in talks with China to make repayments to International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), said its chairman Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.

"I am the chairman of 1MDB, and as I know, there is no such thing as us talking to China about this," he told a press conference yesterday.

"Nobody talked to us."

Dr Irwan was referring to a Financial Times report on Wednesday that claimed 1MDB was getting China to help with repayments to IPIC, a company owned by the Abu Dhabi government.

BURDEN

The dispute between 1MDB and IPIC is part of a financial scandal engulfing Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is increasingly tilting towards China to help resolve the huge financial burden at 1MDB, which carried debts of more than US$12 billion (S$17b) at one point.

The spat arose from a bailout deal last year in which IPIC agreed to lend US$1b to 1MDB and assume payments on US$3.5b of the Malaysian fund's debt in a debt asset swap deal.

It also forgave some debt that 1MDB owed IPIC.

But the Emirati firm claimed in April that 1MDB had not repaid the US$1b advance.

It applied for arbitration in London, where it is publicly listed. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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