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1MDB upbeat on cutting debts in six months

Measures taken by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in implementing the rationalisation plan are running smoothly and would be able to reduce its debts in four to six months' time.

Its president and group executive director Arul Kanda said the process could be implemented through the sale of several assets and equity in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), Bandar Malaysia and Edra Global Energy.

"I am confident that the period is appropriate in the company's situation and also market conditions," he said in an interview on the TV3's ‘Soal Jawab’ programme in Kuala Lumpur last night.

Arul Kanda said investors were confident of the 1MDB's assets as they had strong fundamentals, while Edra Energy earned a revenue of about RM5 billion annually.

Meanwhile, about 40 international companies are interested in becoming Bandar Malaysia development partners, he said.

Arul Kanda said the main challenge now was to stabilise 1MDB's financial situation in order to settle the debts.

He hopes the plan would generate income and profits from 1MDB's operations in future. 

"We are on track to meet our strategic development objectives," he said. 

'1MDB always open to investigation'

Arul Kanda said 1MDB was always open to investigation and acknowledged that it had become the most widely investigated company from the likes of Bank Negara Malaysia, police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), as well as others. 

"The investigations conducted by various agencies would reveal all 1MDB's financial operations," he said.

Earlier, Arul Kanda, who had a stint in the financial sector in the Middle East, said the 1MDB's debt rationalisation plan was a challenge to his professional banking experience.

Asked if 1MDB business model is needed in Malaysia which seems playing the same role as Khazanah Nasional's, Arul said: "Originally Khazanah and 1MDB have a complementary role... it means supporting each other." 

A calm and composed Arul Kanda said 1MDB was now focusing on 'greenfield' projects such as the TRX land development.

Meanwhile, Khazanah was able to manage government assets such as Telekom Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and implement new projects such as Iskandar Malaysia, he said.

Khazanah is an investment arm of the government, while 1MDB is a wholly-owned government strategic development company.

It implements market-driven initiatives to help transform Malaysia into a rapidly growing economy, highly competitive, inclusive and established.

- Bernama