Abu Dhabi to revive sale of 1MDB-tarnished Falcon

ZURICH • Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co is reviving plans to sell Falcon Private Bank in Switzerland as it seeks to distance itself from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) money-laundering scandal, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The state-backed investment firm has invited bids for at least five billion francs (RM20.39 billion) of assets managed by Zurich-based Falcon, the people said, asking not to be identified as the plans are private.

The bank had held unsuccessful talks with potential buyers last year, people familiar with the matter said.

Mubadala is seeking to move past the 1MDB scandal after Falcon’s Singapore unit was closed by regulators for failing to adequately flag US$1.27 billion (RM5.18 billion) in suspicious deposits linked to 1MDB and a branch manager in Singapore was also jailed.

A spokesman for Falcon declined to comment, saying that the management and board of Falcon is focused on its current strategy. A spokesperson for Mubadala also declined to comment.

Mubadala also recently halted new business with Goldman Sachs Group Inc as it seek damages from the bank for what it calls its “central role” in the 1MDB scandal, according to the fund.

The bank is accused of misleading investors when it helped 1MDB raise US$6.5 billion through bond deals in 2012 and 2013, while allegedly knowing that the funds would be misappropriated. — Bloomberg