Malaysia's 1MDB to have at least $3.2 billion in assets after revamp: President

1MDB will hold between RM10 billion to RM12 billion (S$3.2 billion to S$3.8 billion) worth of assets after its proposed reorganization.
1MDB will hold between RM10 billion to RM12 billion (S$3.2 billion to S$3.8 billion) worth of assets after its proposed reorganization.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG/THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), the debt-ridden state investment company that nearly defaulted earlier this year, will hold between RM10 billion to RM12 billion (S$3.2 billion to S$3.8 billion) worth of assets after its proposed reorganization, according to its president and group executive director Arul Kanda.

This includes a 40 per cent stake in Bandar Malaysia, a property project, and land worth about RM5 billion to RM6 billion in the Tun Razak Exchange development, Mr Arul said at a public forum in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (Nov 14).

He also said 1MDB had invested in the development of infrastructure that benefits everybody, adding that these included developing projects beyond what private companies would have done, giving the example of the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX).

He said that the TRX will be a transportation hub where the High-Speed Rail (HSR) between KL and Singapore will merge with other transportation services such as the MRT, the ERL, KTM, Rapid Transit as well as provide links to the SMART tunnel and the MEX highway.

"We have managed to integrate this into the plan. There is no other hub in the world such as this," he said during a public forum held at the Dewan Tun Hussein Onn in the Putra World Trade Centre.

On 1MDB's debts, Mr Arul said that the company's debt only materialised after it purchased assets such Edra Global Energy Bhd.

He reiterated that 1MDB had more assets than debts and that it had paid back all of its debts "on time".

He also said that creating debt also allowed available funds to be used on other development projects.

Mr Arul said that the debt was caused by a "cash flow mismatch" as it had many assets but also a lot of debts that needed to be paid off.

He added that the company also needed money to pay for the infrastructure development for ongoing projects.

He said that the Cabinet had scrutinised the rationalisation plan proposed by the company in May and were supportive of it.

Under the plan, 1MDB will sell assets to pay back the debt.

Mr Arul added that the Government would not be at loss because they would still own 40 per cent of Bandar Malaysia and 100% of the TRX.

He mentioned that the Government had taken immediate action to deal with the debt crisis that the company was facing and had been very open about it.

"There has been extensive media coverage to explain the problems the company is facing so that we can give answers," he said.

Mr Arul said that 1MDB was the most investigated company in the history of Malaysia, with five agencies investigating it at the same time.

"Here we are, an open book. You have to have an open mind to read the book," he said.