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PNB refutes claims that it bought 1MDB bonds
Published:  May 13, 2015 12:16 PM
Updated: 5:25 PM

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) has refuted claims that the state-owned company had bought sukuk bonds issued by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

PNB, the country's largest fund management company aimed at increasing equity ownership among bumiputera, said the company did not receive any offer from 1MDB.

Citing a report by The Star in March, PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli claimed that 1MDB had issued RM1.5 billion worth of sukuk bonds which were sold to PNB and Lembaga Tabung Haji.

He said since Tabung Haji had admitted to buying RM920.8 million worth of bonds, it would infer that PNB bought the balance of RM579.2 million.

The involvement of GLCs with 1MDB has created concern over whether state-owned agencies were trying to save the debt-ridden company.

Last week, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was forced to order Tabung Haji to dispose of plot of land that was bought from 1MDB for RM188 million.

Critics said the deal was unfair because Putrajaya sold the land to 1MDB for a song but the company made a huge profit at the expense of Tabung Haji depositors.

Rafizi still suspicious

When contacted for immediate comments, Rafizi ( photo ) said PNB should have responded to the issue when it cropped up last year.

"I accept their denial, but they have to explain whether they had subscribed the bond at any one time and why wasn't there a denial last year.

"By making a denial now, the whole issue of subscription has become very sensitive and it becomes a bit suspicious.

"More than a year has lapsed since the issuance of the bond, many things can happen," he said.

In view of what has happened to 1MDB thus far, Rafizi said it would be better for Malaysians to stay on the side of caution and remain suspicious.

Additional reporting by Zikri Kamarulzaman .

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PNB refutes claims that it bought 1MDB bonds