Singapore returning S$50.3m seized in 1MDB probe to Malaysia: Police

FRI, JUL 19, 2019 – 11:42 AM

[SINGAPORE] Singapore is returning millions in seized money to Malaysia in connection with a massive financial scandal that played a major role in the toppling of the corruption-plagued government of Najib Razak.

Singapore police said its Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) had filed applications to return around S$50.3 million of seized money linked to Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, and the courts have given their approval.

“Part of the monies have already been transferred to Malaysia, while the rest are still being processed by the banks,” it said late on Thursday.

The police did not say where the money was seized from.

Singapore is one of several countries that launched probes into allegations that billions of dollars were misappropriated from 1MDB in an elaborate ruse that stretched from Asia to the United States.SEE ALSO: Malaysian police chief says tough to combat drugs with addicts on force

The scandal – allegedly involving Malaysia’s ex-leader Najib, his family members and inner circle – played a key role in the defeat of his long-ruling coalition at the polls last year.

The US Department of Justice, which has been seizing assets in the United States allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB money, believes that some US$4.5 billion was plundered from the fund.

Singapore’s investigations into 1MDB centred on allegations that its financial system was used to launder some of the stolen funds.

The financial hub has jailed a Swiss banker and three Singaporean private bankers for their roles in the affair.

It has closed the local branches of two Swiss banks, which were allegedly used to transfer illicit funds, for what regulators called massive lapses in financial controls.

Since his election defeat, Najib has been arrested over the scandal and went on trial in April.

Read More:
https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/singapore-returning-503m-seized-in-1mdb-probe-to-malaysia

Japan’s Nikkei slips on stronger yen, currency war jitters

TOKYO (Aug 7): Japan’s Nikkei fell on Wednesday as a stronger yen and fears of a global currency war prompted investors to sell riskier assets, though some upbeat corporate results and Wall Street’s bounce helped curb losses.

The Nikkei stock average ended the day down 0.33% at 20,516.56 points.

“Gains by the yen and lingering concerns towards the U.S.-China trade and currency war weighed on the market. The yuan is still above the 7 per dollar and how currency issues pan out is a key concern,” said Chihiro Ohta, equity general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities.

“That said, sellers are not entirely dominant as there were some solid corporate earnings as well.”

Companies reliant on exports slipped as the yen remained strong against the dollar, staying close to a seven-month high scaled the previous day. The yen is typically seen as a safe-haven during times of market turmoil, and has firmed in recent sessions as the Sino-U.S. trade war suddenly escalated.

Honda Motor Co lost 0.9%, Mitsubishi Electric Corp shed 1.3% and TDK Corp declined 2.2%.

Earnings reports also continued to buffet trading.

Sumco Corp, a manufacturer of silicon wafers used in semiconductors, sank 9.3% after its operating profit fell 18.4% in Jan-June.

Kirin Holdings Co tumbled 5% after Japan’s second-biggest brewer posted a net loss of 7.31 billion yen ($68.8 million) in the Jan-June period.

On the winners ledger, JVC Kenwood Corp soared 15.6% as the maker of car audio and visual systems reported a 77.9% operating profit increase in the April-June quarter.

Renesas Electronics Corp climbed 7.8% after the semiconductor maker’s Jan-June operating losses were not as large as anticipated.

Control equipment manufacturer Yokogawa Electric Corp added 4.9% on reporting an operating profit increase of 37.5% in April-June.

Fancl Corp rose 2.9% after Kirin Holdings said on Tuesday that it would take a 30.3% stake in the cosmetics company.

The broader Topix inched up 0.05% to 1,499.93. Declining shares outnumbered gainers 1,060 to 1,003. – Reuters

Read More:
https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/japans-nikkei-slips-stronger-yen-currency-war-jitters