Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Unfair to blame 1MDB over weak ringgit

 1Malaysia Deve­lopment Berhad is disappointed with Bank Negara Governer Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, claiming that she had singled out the strategic development company for the ringgit’s weakness.

In a statement yesterday, 1MDB said the ringgit’s weakness and other currencies, such as the Norwegian Kroner; the Australian Dollar, the Russian Rouble and the Brazillian Real, were mainly due to the abrupt fall in oil prices, expectations of rising US interest rates and concerns of economic slowdown in emerging markets.

“Historically, never once has one company been linked in such a way to the value of the ringgit,” it said.

“We trust that the facts shared by 1MDB and the immediate clarifications issued to date will provide clarity and assurance to all concerned parties.”

1MDB highlighted that the value of its assets exceeded its debt.

Furthermore, it said Dr Zeti would be aware that 1MDB had consistently met, with no default, its interest service and principal repayment obligations, to both foreign and domestic lenders.

On Monday, Dr Zeti said to participants attending the Malaysia Eco­nomic Update 2015 that the public deserved answers on 1MDB.

She was responding to a question as to whether domestic affairs, in particular issues surrounding 1MDB, had contributed to the ringgit’s depreciation.

Dr Zeti also said the international community had assessed Malaysia’s financial system and it had passed the test.

“But they want to see further enforcement,” she said. “They will come and see whether we are complying with the standards that they have set.

“This is a time and age where no one can hide ... they will track down any irregular activities.”

Dr Zeti said Bank Negara had completed its investigation in relation to 1MDB’s financial dealings, and handed the findings over to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

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