Friday, March 13, 2015

To All Malaysia's Prophets Of Doom: Here's From The Godfather ( IMF) Of The Global Economy

Hantu Laut

I am not going to say much about 1MDB in relation to the overall performance of the economy, but as long as it stays afloat the Malaysian economy will not be seriously affected. 

The fundamentals are still good.  

PM Najib should not be too happy, the political situation will not change until there is some semblance of radical transformation of good governance.

Below is a review of the 2014 Malaysian economy by IMF.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Why 1MDB Parked Its Money In Singapore?

Hantu Laut

Veteran Newsman Questions Rationale Of Parking 1MDB Funds In Singapore.

Again, I must qualify this is not a support for 1MDB (something is rotten in Denmark applies), but since they are keeping their inelegant silence, maybe, I can throw some lights on the controversy, why 1MDB keep parking the money outside the country. 

I don't believe in prolixity, so I'll make it short and breezy in layman's terms.

If you know the nitty-gritty of international banking and finance, it's not hard to understand why they keep parking the money outside Malaysia.

Why Singapore?

Singapore, being a financial centre allow non-residents to park their money in time-deposits in foreign currencies, where you can place your money in most major currencies and interest earned are not subject to Singapore tax (non-residents only)

Unlike Malaysia, many banks in Singapore have two departments, the DBU (Domestic Banking Unit) and ACU (Asian Currency Unit). 

Singapore is not short of banks that will gladly accept this kind of money as long as they are comfortable with where it came from.

Why 1MDB parked the money outside Malaysia?

If 1MDB remit the money back to Malaysia, they will have to convert it to local currency and they will no doubt collect more ringgit in exchange for the US$ funds, but should any of its foreign obligation matures anytime soon, they will have to incur massive foreign exchange losses, if they have to use ringgit to repay the foreign debts, so it makes sense to keep the money in the original currency, which, unfortunately, has to be placed in one of the financial centres as Malaysia do not have, or rather do not allow foreign currency deposit in the country.

The explanation given by PM Najib for keeping the money in Singapore because of BNM ruling requiring its approval for amount over RM50 million is wishy-washy, a terrible misguidance. Who would believe BNM can put a hurdle on a sovereign fund the brainchild of the PM? Why would BNM objected whatever the amount is for money coming into the country and allow billions to fly out of the country without a squeak?  

As a matter of fact if the US$1.1 billion had been remitted back to Malaysia, it would have strengthened the ringgit wee bit.

On the other hand, there is also strong possibility that the money is encumbered as collateral or part of collateral of other borrowings, thus the constraint of bringing it back home and the inelegant silence.

One can imagine one of two things of the opaqueness of 1MDB operations, either they are completely arrogant, or they are in such a big mess, they just don't know how to respond sensibly.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

1MDB Bank Negara Approval:Are They Barking Up The Wrong Tree?

Hantu Laut

Jho Low Claimed The “PM/ FM” Gave Approval To Keep Bank Negara In The Dark On 1MDB Loan

I 'll not doubt there is something rotten down in 1MDB and the goings-on, therein, may not be known to the PM.

As I have suggested earlier forensic audit of the account be carried out to detect any fraudulent transactions, such audit should be carried out by our Auditor-General together with a reputable international auditing firm, which has in-depth knowledge of the world of international banking and finance, the reason being our AG office may not be familiar with those complicated cobwebbed financial instruments.

What I am going to say here is not in support of Jho Low, 1MDB or the PM, it's purely my personal opinion.

I suggest you guys check out BN (Bank Negara) objectives and regulations before you freak out on this highly politicised issue.

Jho Low may be right about BN approval not required as it is an offshore to offshore loan in foreign denominated currency (no ringgit involved), which in all likelihood is outside BN jurisdiction, therefore, BN approval is not necessary. It also makes sense that only MOF (Ministry of Finance) approval is required as 1MDB is wholly owned by the Malaysian government under the jurisdiction and control of Ministry of Finance, therefore, the company's BOD approval is required and MOF being the sole shareholder of 1MDB, its consent is also required.

Being an entity under MOF, who else can give approval on the matter if not the Minister of Finance, who also happened to be the Prime Minister? Don't forget by virtue of being the PM, he automatically become the de facto CEO of all state-owned companies.

Bank Negara would be more concerned if there were going to be foreign exchange involvement, or if the loan originated or domiciled in Malaysia, or if proceeds of the loan remitted back to Malaysia, where there would be greater impact on the local currency, economy and financial well being of the country if things go wrong.

1MDB would only need to inform BN and gets its approval if it raised foreign loans or issued bonds and bring back the proceeds to Malaysia. Its borrowings from domestic banks must be reported to BN, who as regulator can block or vary the huge borrowings if it's worried of undue impact on the credit and monetary system. 

As it is, the ringgit had already gone deep down south due to comprehensive politicising of the issue that have created skepticism and distrust in the Malaysian economy. Today, the ringgit is 3.69 to US$1.00 due to highly speculative and effective rumoring rather than fact-based economic indicators. Malaysia, is now rated one of the most politically unstable countries among investors and fund managers and it will get worse if no effort is taken to stabilise the very fluid political situation.

Most of the blame should fall squarely on the shoulder of PM Najib Razak as he was more concerned in keeping his popularity and hold on to power within his own party rather than to revive and strengthen the party popularity among the populace.

If they are so sure of the BN regulation, why SR (Sarawak Report) not named the source in Bank Negara who says to them such approval is required?

I think, Sarawak Report, Rafizi and the rest of the gang are barking up the wrong tree on the issue of Bank Negara's approval.