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Friday, May 29, 2015

1MDB’s TRX and Bandar Malaysia to be standalone entities

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah says funds raised via the rationalisation plan to separate the TRX and Bandar Malaysia projects will help reduce 1MDB's debt. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 29, 2015.Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah says funds raised via the rationalisation plan to separate the TRX and Bandar Malaysia projects will help reduce 1MDB's debt. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 29, 2015.1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) two real estate developments will be separated into stand alone companies as part of a rationalisation plan to reduce its massive RM42 billion debt.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) financial district project and Bandar Malaysia development will be run as separate entities with full autonomy and accountability for their operational and financial performance.
“Whilst options are being pursued with respect to the monetisation of Edra Energy, the Ministry of Finance will remain a key shareholder in TRX and Bandar Malaysia, which will raise equity via third party investors.
The Cabinet met this morning and in the meeting, Husni presented the state investment vehicle's rationalisation plan.
Following the conclusion of its strategic review in February, 1MDB had said the two projects located in central Kuala Lumpur would run as standalone entities but stressed that the ownership will remain with the Finance Ministry.
In addition to the potential sale of land development rights, the projects could enter into profit-sharing joint ventures, it had added.
TRX was in the news recently when it was revealed earlier this month that Muslim pilgrims' fund Lembaga Tabung Haji bought a 0.63ha land for RM188.5 million at the site.
Following the furore over the deal, which critics claimed meant Tabung Haji paid far more per square feet than what 1MDB had paid when it first bought the land from the government, Tabung Haji pledged to dispose the land within a fortnight.
Currently, Tabung Haji said it is in the process of sealing the sales and purchase agreement with a buyer.
Criticism has been mounting over the Finance Ministry's wholly-owned investment vehicle, established in 2009, which has chalked up debts of up to RM42 billion, backed by Putrajaya.
Scrutiny has grown more intense following Sarawak Report's recent exposes, which piled pressure on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and prompted opposition politicians, current and former Umno leaders, including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and anti-graft bodies to demand a thorough investigation into the fund.
The Auditor-General is currently looking through 1MDB's books, with a preliminary report expected to be submitted to the Parliament in June, while Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) started its investigation into the company on May 19.
- TMI

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