1MDB Plans ‘Robust Response’ In Debt Row

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 17 – National sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) said Friday it plans a “robust response” to an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund’s move to seek US$6.5 billion (RM26.59 billion) via international arbitration of a debt dispute.

The Abu Dhabi fund, International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), said on Tuesday that it had submitted a request to the London Court of International Arbitration to intervene in the row. 1MDB in a brief statement said 1MDB will file a robust response to the RFA (request for arbitration).

In April, 1MDB defaulted on US$1.75 billion in company bonds that were co-guaranteed by IPIC after the Malaysian fund missed an interest payment of US$50 million. The debt dispute centres on IPIC’s accusation that 1MDB failed to pay back a US$1 billion loan from the Abu Dhabi fund. 1MDB insists it repaid the IPIC loan, but the Abu Dhabi fund denies that. 

IPIC is refusing to guarantee the 1MDB bonds until the loan is repaid. Its arbitration request did not specify why it was seeking US$6.5 billion. In April, the Public Accounts Committee said at least US$4.2 billion in questionable overseas money transfers were made by 1MDB. While last month saw Swiss financial regulators approved the dissolution of Switzerland-based BSI Bank over “serious breaches” of money-laundering regulations in its dealings with 1MDB.

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