Thursday, May 5, 2016


Another USD 52,412,000 interest payment is due Wednesday, 11 May 2016.

Lets forget the dispute between 1MDB and IPIC for a moment.

Here's a lowdown of interests to be paid counting only the 3 Goldman Sachs managed bonds, two 2012 USD 1.75 billion bonds issued by 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited (5.75% coupon) and 1MDB Energy Limited (5.99% coupon) respectively and a 2013 USD 3 billion bond issued by 1MDB Global Investment Limited 4.40% coupon), on a yearly basis.

The yearly interest for the above bonds are as follows (1 USD = MYR 3.90):

  1. 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited    Rm   392,433,600.00
  2. 1MDB Energy Limited                  Rm   408,813,600.00
  3. 1MDB Global Investment Limited Rm   514,800,000.00

Yearly Grand Total                       Rm 1.316 billion

That works out to a whopping Rm 3,605,609.00 a day!

In 6 and 7 years time when these bonds mature, 1MDB has to fork out a humongous USD 6.5 billion or Rm 25.35 billion.

And how will 1MDB obtain this amount of money?

One clue is, when 1MDB defaulted on the interest payment, it's bonds actually became attractive.

Bond buyers won't blink at all.

Hey, it's a sovereign backed bond. So, what's the worry.

Sunday, May 1, 2016


In my previous post I had ascertained that it was 1MDB which was solely responsible for the payment of the interest due as issuers of the USD1.75 billion bond and in failing to do so was deemed to have defaulted.

Before proceeding we need to recall IPIC had issued a statement to the London Stock exchange on 11 April 2016 in a matter relating to an entity, AABAR BVI, in which IPIC had stated is not an entity related in any way to the IPIC group of companies.

Forget about the reactions by 1MDB or media reports in response to that statement. In my humble opinion it was nothing more than a panic reaction to a shocking revelation.

A wake up call.

I can safely say the 11 April statement by IPIC has nothing to do whatsoever about the issue at hand i.e. 1MDB defaulting and the more trying issues ahead for the government backed vehicle as a result of this default.

To better understand the present predicament facing 1MDB we need to look at the chronology, by way of IPIC's statements filed to the London Stock Exchange, up till now.

10 June 2015 RNS Number : 7064P 1MDB Debt Settlement Arrangements

This was the start that has turned into a contentious relationship wherein a particular document is mentioned and is at the heart of the disagreement between IPIC and 1MDB a "binding term sheet"

The relevant points of the agreement:

  •  IPIC had disbursed to 1MDB a sum of USD 1 billion.
  •  IPIC will assume all interest payments in relation to 2 bonds with a principal sum totalling USD3.5 billion. 
However, it is clearly states in parenthesis "on an interim basis". Please keep this in mind because it explains why IPIC and not 1MDB had made 2 interest payments in October and November of 2015.

  • IPIC would directly assume liability for all payment obligations under the Notes (the Assumption of Debt) and forgive certain financial obligations of the 1MDB Group to the IPIC Group (the Debt Forgiveness) upon the completion of the transfer of assets.
This meant that IPIC would take full responsibility for interest payments in contrast as a guarantor making  payment when the issuer, 1MDB, is deemed to have defaulted.

Again however, this is subject  to and "upon the completion of the transfer of assets". I am making an assumption that these assets must have the value of the sum of the total interest payments due until the bonds mature. It will not make common or business sense otherwise.

The last and final point:

  • IPIC is to have received a transfer of assets with an aggregate value of an amount which represents the sum of the Cash Payment, the Assumption of Debt and the Debt Forgiveness by 30 June 2016.

Within the context of the agreement, IPIC would only assume a role that of a primary obligor and not as guarantor only "upon the completion of the transfer of assets" and by the 30 June 2016.

The total value of the assets to be transferred, in a previous post have proven to be accurate in this official 1MDB statement dated  26 April 2016, "...a binding term sheet executed on 28 May 2015 (“Binding Term Sheet”), under which IPIC assumed the obligation to pay the interest and ultimately the principal for, amongst others.."

18 April 2016 RNS Number : 4672V 1MDB Debt Settlement Arrangements

This statement was issued on the very day that the interest was due on the 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited USD1,75 billion bond tranche and was greeted by incredulity on the part of 1MDB not only to this statement but also to the unrelated Aabar BVI statement of 11 April.

To know more why it is unrelated, one need to understand that much have been reported by the media including stylised graphics of 1MDB payments made to Aabar. But if 1MDB took the trouble to peruse IPIC's annual reports from 2012, 2013, 2014 up to the latest 2015 (unaudited), nowhere in these reports are stated any payments from 1MDB to Aabar in the accounts and Notes. In fact, there were media reports that IPIC had been looking into these mystery payments claimed to have been by made 1MDB. CNBC had this report dated 9 September 2015.

It in this statement that the all important "binding term sheet" is given more prominence with a heading of its own, Status of the Binding Term Sheet together with the main heading 1MDB Debt Settlement Arrangements.

This 1MDB Debt Settlement Arrangements filing underlines the following:

  • IPIC extending financial support to 1MDB at he request of 1MDB and MOF
  • 1MDB and MOF acknowledging liabilities owed to IPIC
  • Conditional settlement, release and discharge of certain obligations and liabilities between the IPIC, 1MDB and the MOF 

The Status of the Binding Term Sheet detailed these matters:

  • IPIC had fulfilled its obligations. 1MDB and the MOF had failed to make certain payment and other obligations including a specific sum of USD 1,102,725,000 plus interest accruing

As mentioned earlier, IPIC had made interest payments in October and November of 2015. This is disclosed in the IPIC (unaudited) 2015 financial report. Interests on two tranches of bonds totalling USD 3.5 billion are paid semiannually at 5.75% and 5.99% coupons issued by 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited and 1MDB Energy Limited respectively.

Interests 5.75% of USD 1.75 billion semiannually is USD 50,312,500 and at 5,99% is USD 52,412,500 totals USD 102,725,000 and this amount added to the USD 1 billion, disbursed by IPIC to 1MDB in June 2015, gives a grand total of USD 1,102,725,000. This grand total (plus interest accruing), the sum that 1MDB failed to pay IPIC specifically stated in the statement filed, as it turned out to be was supposed to have been paid by 1MDB on 31 December 2015 and admitted by the 1MDB CEO, Arul Kanda,  in the greeted incredulity link above.
  • 1MDB and MOF in breach of Binding Term Sheet. IPIC and Aabar duly terminates Binding Term Sheet 
  • 1MDB and MOF still bound by obligations of Binding Term Sheet including indemnity to IPIC for non performance and any claims against IPIC in relation to bond guarantees by IPIC.
  • IPIC had engaged and given 1MDB and MOF opportunities to remedy defaults without success. IPIC reserves rights and considering options including referring matter to appropriate resolution forum.
The October and November semiannually interests payments by IPIC is in compliance with the 28 May 2015 Debt Settlement Agreement, made on interim basis.

This filing to the London Stock Exchange has an ominous tone of legal repercussions and showed a definite strained relationship between 1MDB and it's once most important business partner.

There is no mention of the interest payment due the same day 18 April but it drew an immediate response from 1MDB which understood the IPIC statement to mean that it would not make the interest payment.

Arul Kanda was also reported by Reuters to have said that the default in question would incur cross defaults on IPIC as well as 1MDB.

25 April 2016 RNS Number : 1844W Upcoming Interest Payments under certain 1MDB Notes

And so it was to be and rightly so but not in the way Arul Kanda had been quoted.

I append the statement verbatim for better comprehension of IPIC's contention in matters relating to the Debt Settlement Arrangements and interest default:
  • IPIC will make the U.S.$ 50,312,500.00 interest payment to holders of the Notes issued by 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited and guaranteed by 1MDB, but only after 1MDB defaults on its payment obligations in respect of such Notes
  • A 1MDB default does not cross-default IPIC
On 10 June 2015, IPIC GMTN Limited issued an announcement (RNS Number 7064P) relating to a binding term sheet dated 28 May 2015 (the Binding Term Sheet) and other ancillary documents entered into between International Petroleum Investment Company PJSC (IPIC), Aabar Investments PJS (Aabar), Minister of Finance, Inc., Malaysia (MoF) and 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Amongst other things, the Binding Term Sheet provided for IPIC assuming the obligations to pay (on an interim basis) interest due under two IPIC guaranteed 1MDB financings amounting to U.S.$3.5 billion in aggregate principal amount, including U.S.$1,750,000,000 fixed rate 5.75 per cent. notes due 2022 issued by 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited and guaranteed by 1MDB (the Notes).

IPIC's guarantee of the Notes (the Guarantee) provides that IPIC's payment obligations in respect of the Notes are subject to certain conditions, including the occurrence of a 1MDB Event. 1MDB Events, in turn, include a default by 1MDB for more than five business days in the payment on the due date of interest or principal payable in respect of the Notes (1MDB Default). The Guarantee also prescribes the number of days following such 1MDB Default within which IPIC must fulfil its payment obligations in respect of the Notes. A 1MDB Default does not cross-default IPIC.

In respect of the Notes, IPIC notes that an interest payment of U.S$ 50,312,500.00 was due on 18 April 2016. IPIC understands that neither 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited nor 1MDB have made this payment. Should 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited and 1MDB fail to make such payment on or before 25 April 2016, a 1MDB Default shall occur.

As at the time of this announcement, IPIC is not aware of the Guarantee being called upon. IPIC has always honoured its obligations arising from any agreements it has entered in to and will continue to do so. Accordingly, if a 1MDB Default occurs and IPIC is called upon in accordance with the procedure prescribed in the Guarantee, IPIC will honour its obligations in relation to this interest payment, which shall be met out of IPIC's existing liquidity.

IPIC notes that the status of the Binding Term Sheet continues to be as disclosed in the announcement issued by IPIC GMTN Limited on 18 April 2016 (RNS Number 4672V). 1MDB and MoF are in default pursuant to the terms of the Binding Term Sheet and IPIC's and Aabar's obligations under the Binding Term Sheet have terminated. Any payment in respect of the Notes would be made by IPIC in respect of its obligations under the Guarantee and not in any capacity under the terms of the Binding Term Sheet. IPIC notes that it is entitled to the benefit of indemnities from 1MDB and MoF in respect of all amounts that it may be required to pay in respect of the Notes and the Guarantee under the terms of the Binding Term Sheet and these indemnities survive the termination of the Binding Term Sheet.
IPIC reserves all its rights under the above documents and in respect of the various options for settlement.

It is clear that matters had escalated with distinct conflicting interpretation, from what had been reported and disclosed in this statement filed, of the Binding Term Sheet and clarifying guarantee matters in relation to the two 1MDB bond tranches issued.

This filing is more detailed explaining IPIC's position and the two main points are that IPIC will honour its obligation on the payment interest but only after 1MDB has defaulted and repudiates Arul Kanda's assertion that a 1MDB default would cause a cross default of IPIC's bonds.

IPIC states under the two bond USD 1.75 billion issue Notes, it's guarantee is conditional subject to an event such as 1MDB defaulting.

The filing goes on to state that henceforth IPIC would honour all its obligations only under the Notes of the bond issues and not the Binding Term Sheet which IPIC contends it's obligations had ceased as it had been terminated due to breaches by 1MDB and MOF.

As in it's previous statement, the language is legalistic even specifically stating it is entitled it indemnities from 1MDB and MOF, in both the bond issue guarantee Notes and Binding Term Sheet. It also reiterates reserving it's rights in options for settlement.

29 April 2016 RNS Number : 8054W Scheduled Interest Payment under certain 1MDB Note

In honouring its obligation as guarantor, explained in detail in their previous filing, IPIC had this filing confirming payment of the interest after 1MDB had been deemed to have defaulted.

Salient points:

  • IPIC confirming the interest had been paid after 1MDB default.
  • Written demand for indemnity from 1MDB and MOF as per the Binding term Sheet
This filing is even more legalistic in nature as it explicitly states that a written demand would be made to 1MDB and MOF for indemnity.

The filing has reference to all the statements I have appended and commented. It supports my view that the Aabar BVI 11 April filing has nothing to do in the present dispute as far as IPIC is concerned.

As the dispute progressed, it looked increasingly possible that IPIC or 1MDB, would have to seek redress by way of a legal recourse. 

This is especially so on the part of IPIC.

It it happens to come to pass, taking even the barest minimum USD 1,102,725,000 plus the current bond interest paid, will now stand at USD 1,153,037,500 is substantial.

1MDB surplus funds of RM 2.3 billion or USD 587,184.000 (RM 3.917 = USD 1) would be pale in comparison to USD 1,153,037,500 the sum IPIC would be seeking in a written demand. 

Addressing the Aabar BVI disputed payments and for good measure, this document downloaded from this link (or from Bondsupermart and key in '1MDB' in the bond quick search window), is the offering circular by 1MDB Global Investments for a USD 3 billion bond issue.

In it is reference to a joint venture company Abu Dhabi Malaysia Investment Company Limited or ADMIC,
The net proceeds of the issue of the Notes will be approximately U.S.$2,716,760,000 after deducting certain commissions, fees and expenses. See “Distribution Plan, Activities of Goldman Sachs and Selling Restrictions”. The Issuer will either on-lend all of the net proceeds of this Offering to ADMIC or use the net proceeds of the offering to fund its investment in ADMIC, which will be a 50:50 joint venture between the Issuer and Aabar. See "The Joint Venture".
The above bond issue is reported in a press release by 1MDB. 

However, ADMIC is not mentioned anywhere in IPIC's 2013 annual report even though in the 1MDB 2013 Annual report,  Note 45 Significant Events Subsequent to The End of the Reporting Period (i) (h),  Aabar Investments PJS became a 50% shareholder of ADMIC

Friday, April 29, 2016


Press headlines over here, MalayMailonline "1MDB says in ‘limited’ default after IPIC fails to make bondpayment" and StarOnline "1MDB: Limited cross defaults after IPIC fails to make bondpayments
Press headline over there, "1MDB defaults on bond after missing $50m payment amid Ipic dispute"

See the difference?

Over here, IPIC has defaulted. Over there 1MDB is the defaulter.

Definition of Obligor:
A person or entity who is legally, or contractually, obliged to provide some benefit or payment to another. In the financial context, the term obligor refers to a bond issuer, who is contractually bound to make all principal repayments and interest payments on outstanding debt. The recipient of the benefit or payment is known as the obligee.

Definition of Guarantor:
A guarantor is a person who guarantees to pay for someone else's debt if he or she should default on a loan obligation. A guarantor acts as a co-signor of sorts, in that they pledge their own assets or services if a situation arises in which the original debtor cannot perform their obligations.

So there and here we are, in matters of the press spat.

Which brings us to the half past six lawyer.

With the definitions above a layman can easily understand what it means. Any qualified lawyer worth his salt would and must understand the same.

1MDB CEO and qualified lawyer, Arul Kanda, has said so himself, from this Reuters report,
"The guarantee is clear and there is no dispute - IPIC said they will pay under the guarantee and 1MDB as the borrower is the primary obligor," said Arul. 
While a layman may understand the definitions above, "obligor" is not a commonly used word.
But this half past six lawyer is quoted to have said it himself. Surely and admittedly, he must at the very least been aware and knows 1MDB is primarily obligated to make the interest payment.
I won't even bother to provide the definition of "primary".
And by the way Mr Arul, your "curveball" in Bloomberg or anywhere else in the whole wide world, is NEVER ever from left field.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Bloomberg says "1MDB Bondholders Face Threat of More Tussles Ahead of May Coupon"

Another USD 52.4 million interest is due for payment come 11 May in the next few days.

1MDB could use a Groupon despite having cash surplus of RM 2.3 billion
in the  kitty.

Remember, in order to resolve matters , 1MBD may have to fork out USD 1.15 billion to IPIC which was due 31 December 2015 and was not paid.

This became the subject and cause for the last interest payment default. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


In this unfolding game of wits or of will if you like, I wrote that the one who blinks first will make the interest payment.

As it turned out it became sort of an intermission.

IPIC has expressedly stated that it will honour all obligations as guarantor for the USD3.5 billion bond issue only after 1MDB had confirmed being in default. 

IPIC also stated that a default by 1MBD will not cause a cross default for it's own bonds.

This is strengthened by a Bloomberg report that supports IPIC's claim and the 1MDB default has had little impact on IPIC's integrity and bond issues.

I also wrote that there is another USD52,412,000 interest due from1MDB  next month and this is confirmed by the 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda.

The due date for the interest payment is 11 May.

Will this 1MDB IPIC dispute end up in the courts?  It looks that way. 

More drama in the next few days, all in.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


1MDB has confirmed that the interest due was not paid and admitted being in default.

A report in the Edgemarket noted that the interest, in relation to the present disputed payment, for a USD1.75 billion bond tranche is semi-annual.

The IPIC's unaudited accounts 2015 has in note 22 stated that it had made interest payments of USD50,312,000 and USD52,412,000 on 16 October and 10 November 2015 respectively.

Which could mean that there will be another USD52,412,000 interest due, for the other USD1.75 billion bond tranche,
sometime next month.

If so and going by the latest actions of the disputing parties, will this interest due also be subjected to a default?


The dateline to pay interest ended today at 12am London time or 8am in Malaysia.

IPIC in a filing  with the London Stock Exchange said it would honour the interest payment as guarantors of two tranches of bonds totalling USD 3.5 billion.

But only after (or if) 1MDB is in default.

Was it paid?

Monday, April 25, 2016


Upcoming Interest Payments under certain 1MDB Notes
·          IPIC will make the U.S.$ 50,312,500.00 interest payment to holders of the Notes issued by 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited and guaranteed by 1MDB, but only after 1MDB defaults on its payment obligations in respect of such Notes
·           A 1MDB default does not cross-default IPIC

IPIC's London Stock Exchange release.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


It's a very, very high stakes poker game between IPIC, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange, and 1MDB.

Both are backed by their respective Governments of UAE and Malaysia.

Reuters reports "1MDB boss says the Malaysian fund and IPIC face cross default".

Between the two feuding corporate entities, IPIC, being a public listed entity, would be more than aware the ramifications the default will have on the Company and its parent the UAE government.

In this duel and battle of wits, without a negotiated solution, the one who blinks first will be the one that will make the interest payment.
"On its website this week, 1MDB's president said the fund expects bondholders will be paid. Some ratings firms say IPIC will likely fulfill its role as guarantor and pay the interest, if called upon by the bond's trustee" - Nasdaq

Monday, April 18, 2016


IPIC's Statement to London Stock Exchange detailing 1MDB noncompliance to "Binding Sheet".

1MDB's reply in their press release, among others,
"Consequently, as of the time of this statement, the Issuer understands IPIC has not paid the interest."
Look's as though it's headed for the courts unless matters are resolved.

The ramifications are indeed serious in this article by AsiaOne Business.

The interest due has to be paid but by whom?

Will the courts of London or Kuala Lumpur decide should the dispute become a legal recourse?

Friday, April 15, 2016

IMDB's 1MDB Hollywood Treatment

When there's a buck to be made, in Hollywood parlance, there's no business like show business...

1MDB's debut on the big screen in a documentary by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mike Lerner,  is getting wide media coverage in major entertainment portals such as popular movie website IMDB.

Vanity Fair started the ball rolling saying it's thematicaly appropriate.

Gets glamorous on Maxim.

The Hollywood Reporter has this article which ended with, quote,
"Red Granite has maintained that there is nothing inappropriate about any of the business activities of Red Granite Pictures or Riza Aziz, and that the company is responding to all inquiries and cooperating fully."
...and as they also say, the show must go on.

Monday, April 11, 2016

UAE's IPIC denies links with BVI-incorporated firm linked to Malaysia's 1MDB-Reuters

Reuters reports, "Both IPIC and Aabar confirm that Aabar BVI was not an entity within either corporate group"

Statement to London Stock Exchange here.

Friday, April 8, 2016

1MDB IPIC Debt Settlement Agreement

The PAC has finally tabled its report to the Dewan Rakyat yesterday 7 April.

When all is altogether finally said and done, there is this other matter of the 'Debt Settlement Agreement' between 1MDB and IPIC,  the  International Petroleum Investment Company, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange.  

1MDB president and executive director, Arul Kanda, has been reported by Bloomberg in an interview, to be leaving 1MDB and we will come back to him later.

The pertinent subject at hand is this  'Debt Settlement Agreement' signed last year, 28 May 2015.

A report on this agreement was published by The National, UAE headlined "Abu Dhabi’s Ipic to pay interest on 1MDB bonds as Malaysia clears officials", 8 October 2015.

It reported the following, 

"Ipic agreed in May to grant 1MDB $1bn in cash to settle some debt, assume $3.5bn of debt and forgive an undisclosed sum of debt owed to Ipic by 1MDB, in return for a transfer of assets to Ipic."
This is corroborated, as quoted in The National report above verbatim, in the unaudited accounts of IPIC for the financial year ending  2015, screenshot below.

The relevant statement in the Note is thus, "by 30 June 2016, IPIC is to have received a transfer of assets with an aggregate value of an amount which represents the sum of the Cash Payment, the Assumption of Debt and the Debt Forgiveness".

Reading the Note, I take that to mean Cash Payment of USD 1 billion, Assumption of Debt of USD 3.5 billion. Debt Forgiveness may refer to USD 431,326,000.00 (amount outstanding, I stand corrected and it could be more). 

The total for only the Cash Payment and Assumption of debt amounts to close to USD 5 billion or  RM 19,600,000,000.00 (1 USD = RM 3.92)

Interestingly, the Bloomberg report above, quoted Arul Kanda as saying, 
"From my perspective, I’m done,” said Kanda, a trained lawyer. “Everything’s signed. Legal agreements are there, they’re binding. I’m leaving the company" with available funds, he said.
The question arises, has 1MDB already transferred the assets to IPIC - signed, sealed and delivered as Arul Kanda mentions?  

Assets, cash or in kind totaling RM 19.6 billion?

If anyone hadn't notice, the time frame, to deliver the assets is - 30 June 2016, barely 3 months ahead.

To be read in conjunction with 1MDB press release "1MDB-IPIC Debt Settlement Arrangements"

Petroleum Investmen