Malaysia's 1MDB defends Caymans investment as power business IPO nears
KUALA LUMPUR Dec 23 (Reuters) - Malaysian state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd has defended investments in the Cayman Islands as it lines up a $3 billion listing of its power business, saying there was "nothing unusual" about a company of its size putting some of its cash offshore.
The state investor has been criticised by opposition lawmakers over a lack of transparency around its operations as it readies the long-delayed initial public offering, a move to cut back a debt of more than $11 billion. The fund has planned meetings in January with potential cornerstone investors in the IPO, Reuters reported this month.
1MDB said in a statement late on Monday it has redeemed $1.4 billion of $2.06 billion held in a company in the Caribbean tax haven and would redeem the rest in coming months.
Funds brought back have been used for 1MDB developments such as a financial district and a 196-hectare urban development in the capital, finance minister Ahmad Maslan said in parliament last month.
"We believe that public scrutiny of 1MDB is a good thing, and will only serve to strengthen the company and its governance," the statement said.
Deutsche Bank and Maybank are acting as joint global coordinators in the IPO. Goldman Sachs is the main adviser for the IPO while Ambank and Maybank are also advising.
($1 = 3.4960 ringgit)
(Reporting By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah; Editing by Alex Richardson and Kenneth Maxwell)
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