Malaysia to reject even a $3 billion Goldman settlement: Reuters

by BLOOMBERG 

Malaysia would reject a settlement offer of even as much as $3 billion from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. should it suggest the amount as compensation for its role in the 1MDB financial scandal, Reuters reported.

The Malaysian government is “continuing our pursuit to get some money” from Goldman, the report said, citing an interview with Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz. The minister said he spoke to Goldman representatives last month, Reuters said.

Malaysia’s legal case against Goldman will proceed “as long as the amount is not something we think we can accept,” Tengku Zafrul was quoted as saying. He wouldn’t say the amount the government was seeking from the U.S. investment bank.

1MDB is at the center of global investigations into corruption and money laundering, with U.S. prosecutors alleging $4.5 billion was siphoned from the troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd. Malaysia accused Goldman of misleading investors in arranging $6.5 billion in bond sales for 1MDB, while allegedly knowing the money would be misappropriated.

The government has filed criminal charges against Goldman in Malaysia, as well as against 17 current and former directors at three Goldman Sachs subsidiaries for their roles.

A spokeswoman at Malaysian finance ministry didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A Goldman spokesman couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.