Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A connection between the 1MDB theft and Bank Negara's loss of reserves

by Ganesh Sahathevan 

This article was first posted in February 2017 and is being re-posted today given this report:
THE US$39.6 billion (RM160 billion) allegedly lost from Bank Negara Malaysia’s international reserves between 2013 and 2015 was due to outflows of foreign funds and not losses due to foreign exchange trading, Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani said.

Note however that the loss was preceded by record leakages, or "Errors & Omissions" from the reserves, and that the record leakages coincided with the height of the 1MDB theft:

 malaysia net errors and omissions adjusted bop us dollar wb data

The value for Net errors and Omissions in the Balance Of Payments (BoP, current US$) in Malaysia  has fluctuated between $3,552,316,000 in 1993 and ($19,990,770,000) in 2010.
The "Errors and Omissions" figure is considered a proxy for "unofficial" or rather unaccountable flows of foreign exchange out of the country. 
2010 was of course the year when much of the 1MDB theft took place, and it does appear as if that massive unaccounted flow of US Dollars has shown up in the Balance of Payments.

As previously reported on this blog,Sarawak Report has obtained and published photos which show that PM  Najib and wife Rosmah may have conducted 1MDB business with PetroSaudi on their own, without 1MDB management, or board present
Given the extent of the sudden increase in leakages it is not improbable that the business conducted included off-balance sheet transactions executed in 1MDB's name. 

The extent of 1MDB's losses could well be in excess of the currently estimated USD 10 billion, and in fact closer to USD 20 billion.That the higher amount has not shown up in any of the investigations conducted so far is easy to explain.These are not in any way reflected in the books and known only to the chairman, PM Najib. Nevertheless,these would still be liabilities borne by  1MDB ,and by extension the Malaysian Government.

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