MAS examining Goldman Sachs' role in bond deals for 1MDB

MAS examining Goldman Sachs' role in bond deals for 1MDB

Singapore's central bank said on Saturday (Jul 30) it is examining the extent of involvement by Goldman Sachs' local unit in bond deals for Malaysian state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

SINGAPORE: Singapore's central bank said on Saturday (Jul 30) it is examining the extent of involvement by Goldman Sachs' local unit in bond deals for Malaysian state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been questioning banks and financial institutions since last year as part of investigations into possible money laundering in the city-state linked to 1MDB..

"MAS supervisory examination into the extent of Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte's involvement in the 1MDB bond deals is still ongoing," an MAS spokeswoman said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Last week, Singapore said it had seized assets worth S$240 million (US$179 million) as part of a money laundering probe linked to 1MDB and would take action against some of the biggest banks based in the city-state for handling transactions linked to the Malaysian fund.

"MAS will take decisive regulatory actions against any financial institution or individual in Singapore that has breached regulations or failed to meet the expected anti-money laundering standards," MAS said in the statement.

A Goldman Sachs spokesman in Hong Kong declined to comment on the Singapore inquiry.

The US government alleged this month that billions of dollars were diverted from bond deals arranged by Goldman, for the personal use of officials and some people associated with the state fund.

U.S. prosecutors have filed civil lawsuits to seize more than $1 billion in assets they said were tied to money stolen from the Malaysian fund.

1MDB has said in the past it is not a party to the civil suits, does not have any assets in the United States, nor has it benefited from the various transactions described in the civil suits. 1MDB was not available for comment on Saturday.

Goldman Sachs, which earned close to US$600 million to arrange and underwrite the 1MDB bonds, has not been accused of any wrongdoing by US authorities.

These bond deals were arranged and underwritten by Goldman Sachs International.

The Wall Street Journal, which earlier reported the MAS inquiry, also said U.S. authorities had issued subpoenas to Goldman Sachs for documents related to the bank's dealings with 1MDB..

1MDB, founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 shortly after he came to office, is being investigated for money laundering in at least six countries including the United States, Singapore and Switzerland.

Source: Reuters/hs

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