Zeti hopes 1MDB probe concludes before her tenure ends

Zeti hopes 1MDB probe concludes before her tenure ends

KUALA LUMPUR - Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz hopes the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) probe will be concluded before her tenure ends in April.

Zeti, who has been the longest serving central banker, said her efforts were directed at putting a close to the investigations on the debt-laden fund so that the next governor will have a clean slate.

She, however, could not give an update on the central bank's validation of 1MDB's remittance statement.

"I can't discuss this because it has not concluded. It will be premature for me to say anything at this stage," she told reporters on the sidelines of the ground-breaking ceremony for Asia School of Business' new campus in Jalan Dato' Onn here yesterday.

The outgoing governor on Jan 20 told CNBC that the country wanted closure to the 1MDB probe so that it could move on to economic recovery.

She also told CNBC that the central bank was not the only authority scrutinising 1MDB, which has been the subject of multiple investigations amid allegations of financial mismanagement and graft.

1MDB is in the midst of carrying out a rationalisation plan that includes the sale of its 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd for RM7.41 billion (S$2.4 billion), sale of all its energy assets under Edra Global Energy Bhd, and a debt-for-assets swap with International Petroleum Investment Co, which reduced 1MDB's debt by RM16 billion. The plan was mooted to reduce its total RM42 billion debt, based on its latest audited accounts published March 31, 2014.

Commenting on an Edelman report that confidence in the Government and its institutions have dropped, Zeti said the central bank has always worked on reinforcing its capabilities, strengths and resilience.

"We have demonstrated time and again that we come forth with policies that address all areas of vulnerability and for most of it, we have shown a track record of positive results.

"So, I do believe the majority of Malaysians have trust and respect in the central bank, and look to us to maintain this degree of stability in a very tough time.

"Malaysia never had disruption in credit flows, unlike other regions where credit flows were shaken and liquidity not provided in a satisfactory manner," Zeti said.

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