MAS says no Singapore bank received 1MDB bond proceeds

The Monetary Authority of Singapore's main building on May 24, 2016.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore's main building on May 24, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - The Monetary Authority of Singapore has refuted a US newspaper report alleging that Goldman Sachs had wired US$3 billion (S$4.06 billion) from a bond issue for the scandal-hit Malaysian state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to a Singapore branch of a small Swiss private bank.

According to a story published in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Mr Kevin Wong, Goldman's lawyer and a partner with law firm Linklaters in Singapore, had sent a note to Goldman bankers alerting them that the money was to be sent to a private bank. The report, citing unnamed sources, said Goldman had checked the credentials of the bank, Switzerland's BSI SA, and found no reason to not send money there.

A spokesman for MAS said that "no bank in Singapore received the US$3 billion wire transfer from Goldman Sachs in relation to the bond issuance for 1MDB."

When contacted, Goldman Sachs and Mr Wong declined to comment. BSI said: "We have no further comments on the issues you have raised."

gleong@sph.com.sg