Thursday, November 26, 2015

From problem to profit: The day the "notorious" 1MDB moves markets

The BBC report

The anti-Arul movers and shakers will be shaking their hands in anger reading this BBC article but I hope they can calm down and accept the facts as just that - facts. The fact is, the sale of Edra power assets was a major coup. Even the timing of the deal - done while the presidents and prime ministers of the US, China, India, etc were here in KL - was great, coincidental or not. The 1MDB's rationalisation plan looks to be on course, with some sources saying that Arul Kanda, the 1MDB chief, may just end up making a cool couple of billion US dollars in profit at the end of the day (plus TRX!). I don't wish to be too confident on behalf of the 1MDB but, well, things are, really, looking up.

Jo: Ok, maybe with a bit of help ...
Johari: 1MDB can resolve debt issue without Government help 
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25: 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is confident of resolving its debt and cash flow issue more quickly without help from the Government, the Dewan Rakyat was told Wednesday.
The 1MDB issue is not a cause for the fall of the ringgit, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.
"On the contrary, several external factors, such as the fall in crude oil prices and a global economy dependent on exports, are exerting pressure on the ringgit," he said when replying to an oral question from Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PAS-Rantau Panjang).
Johari said all strategic planning under the 1MDB rationalisation plan were being implemented quickly towards reducing the debt-incurred interest of the company.
"1MDB has planned and is implementing the rationalisation measures, including asset sale and equity partnership. We are confident of resolving the amount of debt incurred without government financial assistance," he said.
1MDB said recently the rationalisation plan involves, among others, debt-for-assets exchange with International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), sale of equity in Edra Energy and Bandar Malaysia, sale of land in TRX (Tun Razak Exchange) and disposal of non-core assets. - Bernama

Barring media coverage: Umno can learn from Guan Eng

Behave, and assembly may be open, Ku Nan tells media

My view is that Ku Nan's flip flop on the issue  is the main problem here, not whether Umno would resttrict media access to next week's Umno general assembly or keep it a free-for-all. 

If Ku Nan can't decide, let someone else decide one way or another.  And explain why. If if it is because Malaysiakini is an Opposition mouthpiece, or the Insider has an axe to grind with the party, or because Malaysian Chronicle is crap, just be brave to say so. Then stick to your decision. If there's anything Malaysians especially netizens don't like, it's your inability to be decisive and stick to your guns.

Learn from Lim Guan Eng, if you must. The DAP boss didn't even flich when he barred Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times from covering the Penang State government's official functions soon after becoming Chief Minister in 2008. Why did he say he had to bar these two? Because they are Umno mouthpieces, according to him. It was absurd but dd Guan Eng care? 

Guan Eng went on to sue and threaten to sue newspapers and journalists he deemed hostile towards him. The latest court case was just last week: LGE & Gang vs Terence Fernandez and Others (FTM, Nov 17). For context, read MACC begins probe on Merc purchase (Malaysia Today, Jan 3, 2014). 

p.s. Interestingly, Umno minister Rahman Dahlan is said to be taking Malaysiakini to court over the portal's deliberate campaign to tarnish his image, allegedly of course. Read Straw that broke the camel's back: Pro-portal Umno minister sues Malaysiakini.

Do you think there will be an outcry as a result of Rahman's action? Was there any when Guan Eng sued all those journalists? Me, I'd ask Rahman if he really thinks he has the will and the stamina to see through his threat of suing Kini to serve as a lesson to other portals and online media to be truthful and professional. They won't make it easy for you ...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

NFCorp: No CBT, No Misappropriation of Loans, No Nothing ...

Rafizi Ramli hasn't been having a good spell lately. This one is going to spoil more than his day, for sure ...

News Release


NFCorp chairman completely acquitted and discharged of all criminal charges by sessions court

·      No misappropriation of loan, no Criminal Breach of Trust
·      RM250 million a commercial loan, not a grant from public funds
·      Loan installments paid on time
·      Property purchase made by NFCorp subsidiary company as an investment for NFCorp according to terms and conditions of the loan agreement, and not purchased by Datuk Salleh in his name or for personal or family gain
·      Court of Appeal recommended for Datuk Salleh to seek redress with AG

KUALA LUMPUR --- The sessions court presided by judge Puan Nursharidah Awang today completely acquitted and discharged National Feedlot Corporation chairman Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail of all criminal charges in view of the decision of the Attorney-General who has decided to drop the charges against Datuk Dr Salleh after considering the facts, evidence and merits of the case, and the recommendation of the Court of Appeal of 28 August 2015 which was brought by way of a representation letter to the AG.

The representation letter included evidence to show that there was no misappropriation of the loan nor CBT. It was also revealed that the RM250 million was a commercial loan, not a grant from public funds, and repayments were paid on time. Properties were purchased by an NFCorp subsidiary company as an investment for NFCorp according to the terms and conditions of the loan agreement, and not purchased by Datuk Salleh in his name or for personal or family gain.

DPP Tuan Syed Faisal Syed Amir appeared for the prosecution while Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Al Firdaus Shahrul Naing, Syed Ismat Syed Muhamad and Farhah Mustafa appeared for Datuk Dr Salleh.

Tenaga Nasional did not get to "bail out" 1MDB! Sob!

On Facebook yesterday, I was asked to comment on the award of Edra to China General Nuclear Corporation, a global giant, for USD2.3 billion.

I wrote this morning:

"I'd have preferred that Edra had gone Tenaga's way as I'd written h e r e last week. 
But a blessing undisguised, really: 
1. CGN is paying some RM2 billion more (than what YB Rafizi Ramli said 1MDB should be getting for Edra, here), money much needed by 1MDB for its rationalisation program. 
2. Nobody can accuse Tenaga of bailing out 1MDB now. Sob! If Tenaga had won, PM Najib Razak would have been slammed for ordering a bailout, whether the national utility had offered to buy at RM8 b or RM18 b 
3. Tenaga does not need to increase its borrowings to buy Edra after all.  It means it can focus on existing operations and investments. (Tenaga is also managing a few assets abroad). 
4. Edra is about power "generation". Tenaga still controls "transmission" and "distribution", the two more critical components of the business. Even without Edra,,Tenaga still controls half of the domestic power generation. Whoever generate power does not get to determine tariffs, unless it's a monopoly. 
5. Lastly, CGN is a large foreign investor. Foreign investors before CGN came in not just with money, they created jobs and competition, transferred technology and generated important spin offs."

Edra's power assets