1MDB is financially healthy, says CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy


Olivia Harris | Reuters

Authorities around the world, including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore have looked into anti-money laundering breaches relating to 1MDB.

The financial scandal — one of the world’s biggest — has rocked Malaysian politics and involves players as diverse as Goldman Sachs and Hollywood.

The state of 1MDB’s finances has been a major concern after a highly publicized default on a series of bonds in 2016, which triggering fears that Kuala Lumpur would have to bail out the fund.

Arul Kanda, however, claimed to CNBC: “I’m very proud to say that 1MDB has not defaulted on any of its payment obligations. We continue to service the debt.”

The company’s debt, he said, stands at around $7.75 billion, while 1MDB has nearly $11 billion in assets.

The company’s last bond matures in 2039, but depending on the pace and speed of asset development, the debt could be paid earlier, he said.

“In 2015, we laid out a rationalization plan in order to monetize assets over time and meet the company’s debt obligations,” the executive said.

That’s boosted confidence among international investors, he said, adding that they are now “satisfied with transparency and openness of the company and have now committed to invest in projects that were originated by 1MDB.”

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