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Investors sue Goldman Sachs as 1MDB scandal wipes billions off share value

December 24, 2018

* Goldman Sachs should stop pleading innocence and start signing cheques  

A view of the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 16, 2013. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — A class action suit has been filed against US investment bank Goldman Sachs over its alleged complicity in the 1MDB corruption scandal.

According to the Bloomberg news service, the lawsuit was filed yesterday in a US district court in Manhattan, New York, alleging that Goldman had deceived and omitted key information from investors.

The suit purports to represent all investors who purchased equity in the bank from Feb 28, 2014 to Dec 17, 2018.

Goldman is accused of complicity in bribing government officials to secure the 1MDB account.

While the bank insisted that such action was the work of “rogue” former bankers, information has emerged that it ignored internal warnings over 1MDB and fugitive financier Low Taek Jho.

Its stock is currently trading at US$168 (RM702), down from a high of US$270 earlier this year.

The investment bank has already lost billions of dollars in market capitalisation as a result of the plunge in its share price.

The class-action suit adds to Goldman Sachs’ mounting troubles; the Malaysian government intends to file its own civil suit against the investment bank over its role in the alleged corruption surrounding two bond issues it undertook for 1MDB.

It is not yet known what sum Attorney-General Tommy Thomas will seek as damages in the suit that has not been filed, but Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng asserted in an interview that Goldman should compensate Malaysia to the tune of US$7.5 billion.

According to US prosecutors previously, the investment bank generated an “above average” US$600 million in fees for its work with 1MDB, which included three bond offerings in 2012 and 2013 that raised US$6.5 billion.

Malaysia has also filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs here, accusing the bank of financial fraud along with Low and former 1MDB general counsel Jasmine Loo.

Goldman responded by claiming it had acted in good faith on information provided at the time by key government officials whom it said had assured it that all the dealings were above board.

LINK

From → World Watch

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