No money was lost in PetroSaudi deal, says 1MDB chief

Arul Kanda Kandasamy

(Malay Mail Online) – State investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) today repeated its position that it had recouped its full investment from its now defunct joint-venture with PetroSaudi International Ltd, amid media reports of alleged impropriety in the multi-billion dollar deal.

1MDB president and group executive director, Arul Kanda Kandasamy said in a brief statement that the entire transaction is publicly available for anyone to go through.

“1MDB notes with concern certain claims carried by an online media portal concerning business arrangements 1MDB entered into with PetroSaudi,” he said in the statement posted on the fund’s blog,

“1MDB exited the relationship in 2012, and received back its investment in full, with a profit of US$488m (RM1.77 billion).

“These facts, and all details related to this transaction, may be verified by reference to our audited accounts, which are publicly available on the Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia website,” he said, referring to the Companies Commission.

Earlier today, The Sunday Times in a collaborated effort with whistleblower site Sarawak Report ran an exposé on Malaysian business magnate Low Taek Jho and his alleged links to 1MDB’s venture with oil exploration and production firm PetroSaudi International.

The series of reports cite details purportedly gleaned from thousands of leaked documents and emails involving 1MDB.

In Sarawak Report, the exposé accused Low better known as Jho Low, of siphoning off US$700 million (RM2.5 billion) from 1MDB and using PetroSaudi as a “front” in a 2009 joint-venture.

Petrosaudi however denied the claim.

Putrajaya has suggested the possibility of “political motivation” behind criticism of 1MDB, but pledged action in accordance with Malaysian law should there be any proof to back allegations of wrongdoing in the firm’s operations.