1MDB to pay RM5.32 billion to Abu Dhabi's IPIC

Abu Dhabi and Malaysia have reached a conditional agreement under which Malaysian state fund 1MDB will pay US$1.2 billion to settle a debt dispute that had led to arbitration proceedings in London.

A filing on Monday on the London Stock Exchange says Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Co. will receive half the money by July 31 and the other half by December 31.

Malaysia will also assume the coupon and principal obligations for two dollar bonds issued by 1MDB and co-guaranteed by IPIC, according to the statement.

"These obligations will be met by 1MDB, primarily via monetisation of 1MDB-owned investment fund units".

Justice Zainal Azman ruled that there was sufficient proof - based on the applicants' affidavits and testimony - that the Temiar had resided in the area for a long time, practised their customs on it, and managed the land.

But after the 1MDB financial assistance package became a key part of a United States Justice Department probe into alleged money laundering in July past year, both sides were forced to open backdoor channels to get bilateral ties back on track and to work on hammering out a settlement for the dispute, according to financial executives and government officials close to the matter.

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However, this is only the beginning as the U.S. is investigating possible money laundering and other crimes linked to 1MDB across Singapore, Hong Kong and Switzerland.

In June that year, Abu Dhabi announced it was seeking $6.5 billion from the Malaysian fund through worldwide arbitration. It had also extended a loan of $1 billion to 1MDB.

These include the $1.75bn 5.75 per cent fixed rate notes due 2022 and $1.75bn fixed rate 5.99 per cent notes due 2022, both issued by 1MDB entities.

The question then is, if we have indeed paid the above sums, totalling US$3.51 billion to IPIC or its subsidiaries, why then are we allowing IPIC to relieve itself as an ultimate guarantor for the bonds, and why is MOF Inc assuming the US$3.5 billion of liability?

The agreement is contingent on the arbitration panel making a consent award on May 31, the filing said. "These significant events represent the continued positive progress made by 1MDB, which is nearing the completion of its rationalisation programme", Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, press secretary to the prime minister, said in a separate statement yesterday. Both IPIC and Aabar claimed they did not receive the collateral.