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26 September 2019

Goldman Sachs seeks to return 1MDB money to Malaysia

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has prioritised recovering funds believed to be lost through the troubled state fund, including seeking about $6.5 billion compensation from Goldman Sachs for its involvement in 1MDB.

bloomberg/Goh Seng Chong

A Goldman Sachs Group senior bank executive said that the lender is seeking to resolve its entanglement with the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) affair and help return money to Malaysia, reported Bloomberg.

John Waldron, the President and COO of Goldman Sachs, said, “We are looking to put it behind us and get the Malaysian people the money that they deserve.”

“We’re focused on getting it behind us and resolving it in an appropriate manner, we want the Malaysian people to be taken care of,” said Waldron.

Last month, Malaysia exhausted efforts to prosecute Goldman Sachs employees it alleges were involved in the 1MDB fraud, filing criminal charges against more than a dozen current and former senior executives based around the world.

Law-enforcement agencies in the US and Singapore are also investigating the money trail for billions of dollars that were allegedly syphoned off.

Waldron said it’s hard to give a time frame for when the 1MDB matter will be resolved, declining to comment on the prospects for any settlement with the US Department of Justice.

Goldman Sachs isn’t facing any restrictions on its business in the US as a result of 1MDB, added Waldron.

The 17 current and former employees charged by Malaysia were directors of three Goldman Sachs units it has accused of misleading investors when arranging $6.5 billion in bond sales for 1MDB, the Malaysian state investment fund, whose full name is in 2012 and 2013.

US prosecutors have charged two former bankers at Goldman Sachs, which received $600 million in fees for the bond sales.

The premier said the bank had offered MYR 1 billion ($239 million), which he said was little compared with the huge killing that the bank made from the bond deals.

Waldron also addressed the rising risks to investors from political problems worldwide, including the US-China trade dispute, conflicts with Iran and an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

“The risk premium on politics and geopolitics is elevating, for a long time, post-financial crisis, we actually had a pretty modest amount of risk premium in the marketplace around the broad category of geopolitics, and that is starting to change,” added Waldron.




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