Has 1MDB filed its accounts?

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KUALA LUMPUR: The extended March 31 deadline for 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to submit its financial year ended March 31, 2013 (FY13) accounts passed yesterday with no indication if the controversial sovereign wealth fund has done so.
Checks yesterday with various parties involved drew a blank. 
According to an official from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), as at 2.30pm 1MDB had not filed its accounts.
When contacted later, the same official said the CCM could not comment on whether 1MDB had filed its accounts, and advised The Edge Financial Daily to get in touch with the company.
1MDB’s communications head initially said that he would find out and get back with a reply, but subsequently did not answer attempts made to contact him.
Meanwhile, 1MDB’s recently appointed auditors Deloitte, declined to comment as well.
“It is the company (1MDB)’s responsibility to submit the accounts to CCM (Companies Commission of Malaysia). Because of client confidentiality, we are not able to provide any further information,” Deloitte said in a written reply to The Edge Financial Daily.
It is also not clear if 1MDB has received another extension from CCM for the submission.
The sovereign wealth fund was supposed to have filed the annual returns with the CCM by Sept 30, 2013 but had obtained a six-month extension to do so. The extension ended yesterday.
In February this year it was reported that Deloitte had been appointed auditors for 1MDB, taking over from KPMG, which in turn had replaced Ernst & Young.
Many viewed the change of three auditors in as many years suspiciously.     
In February when 1MDB made a statement touching on the appointment of Deloitte, it said, “1MDB has appointed Deloitte, a Big Four accounting firm, to complete the audit for the year ended March 31 2013, after it was mutually agreed with KPMG that the firm would cease to be 1MDB’s auditors.
“This is nothing special or new as it is in line with best market practice where companies decide on its current or future auditors after considering all aspects, including but not limited to conflict of interests and other consideration,” 1MDB had said.
1MDB had been receiving flak, with much speculation as to the reasons for the delay in submitting its account.  
In explaining the delay, 1MDB said that it had a new business direction since 2012, and had chartered exponential growth, which in turn required the consolidation of accounts of several new subsidiaries with large asset bases, located in various parts of the world.
“We expect to file and submit audited accounts in accordance with the extension granted by CCM, as it has in the past years,” the fund had said then.
Several questions have been asked about 1MDB, including its acquisitions of power generation assets said to be over priced.
Other have also questioned the large amount of debt papers issued, in access of RM30 billion and some with extraordinarily high coupon rates.
Last month, 1MDB was awarded an RM11 billion contract to build a 2,000 MW coal fired power plant dubbed Project 3B, despite its bid being higher than a consortium made up of YTL Corp Bhd and SIPP Energy Sdn Bhd.
1MDB is wholly owned by the Minister of Finance Inc, and registered net profits of RM44.72 million from RM633.18 million in revenue for its financial year ended March 31, 2012.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 1, 2014.