Critics want Najib to explain massive sums allegedly missing from state-owned development company 1MDB, which he launched. -AP
Malaysia's crisis-hit state investment fund 1MDB said Friday it has paid Abu Dhabi the equivalent of $350 million, the first installment under a deal to settle its debts after it missed previous deadlines. 1MDB and its founder Prime Minister Najib Razak are battling allegations that billions were looted from the fund in complex overseas deals that are being investigated by authorities in several countries.
Both the fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, and Najib have vehemently denied wrongdoing. 1MDB agreed in April to pay Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company, about $1.2 billion to settle debts, with half due at the end of July and the rest by the end of the year.
But it missed the first deadline and then a second five days later. It was granted an extension to pay the sum of about $600 million by the end August, on the condition that approximately half that amount was remitted by August 12. The Malaysian fund said in a statement that it "has now remitted, to date, the equivalent of US$350 million to IPIC". The money was paid from 1MDB's rationalisiation fund, it added.
The dispute between 1MDB and Abu Dhabi centred on repayments on two sets of bonds issued by the Malaysian fund. In April 2016 1MDB defaulted on $1.75 billion in bonds after missing an interest payment of $50 million. In June that year Abu Dhabi announced it was seeking $6.5 billion from the Malaysian fund through international arbitration.
-AFP, Kuala Lumpur
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