Thursday, March 24, 2016

Zeti: Bank Negara will take action against 1MDB

 | March 23, 2016

Central Bank says 1MDB missed the deadline given to produce evidence to back its claim about restructuring exercises overseas.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will initiate “appropriate action” against 1MDB for failing to produce evidence it had used the allocated USD1.83 billion for debt management and restructuring exercises overseas.

The central bank’s governor, Zeti Akhtar Aziz, revealed that the state investment arm had initially cited these two reasons when asked why the money had not been repatriated to Malaysian shores.

BNM, she said, was willing to accept the explanation, granted by 1MDB provided supporting documents were produced.

“Yet, they have not produced the documents even after the deadline.

“Thus, we are in the midst of taking appropriate administrative and enforcement action,” the outgoing governor told reporters after presenting the BNM annual report here this evening.

In October last year, BNM ordered 1MDB to repatriate USD1.83 billion after it revoked three permits granted to the latter for investments abroad.

BNM did not specify which permits were revoked or where it believed the USD1.83 billion was being kept.

Earlier this year, 1MDB said it redeemed USD1.1 billion from the Cayman Islands and parked it in BSI Bank Limited Singapore, a local unit of Swiss asset manager BSI.

Zeti added that the central bank’s role in 1MDB was purely administrative and Bank Negara could issue penalties or compound fines, but the process involved other agencies before such action could be taken.

“They (1MDB) have not complied with the bank’s directive.”

She explained that the main reason Bank Negara was pursuing administrative action against 1MDB was to “uphold the integrity of the functioning of our financial system”.

“However, this (action) needs the approval of the Attorney-General’s Chambers before any action can be taken against 1MDB.”

Zeti also rubbished claims of meeting Muhyiddin Yassin to discuss the transfer of USD1.103 billion belonging to 1MDB from Cayman Islands to Singapore.

She said this when asked on claims by Muhyiddin that Zeti had informed him of the said sum not having been transferred to BSI Bank Singapore.

“I have never held a meeting with Muhyiddin to discuss this issue.

“I did not bring any documents on this matter (to the meeting). Muhyiddin did not bring any documents too.”

However, Zeti clarified that she used to deal a lot with Muhyiddin when he was still the deputy prime minister, especially during the  Cost of Living Special Committee meetings.

She stressed she would not allow Bank Negara to be dragged into politics and 1MDB.

~ Free Malaysia Today

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