MoF considering refinancing to service 1MDB debt, says Guan Eng

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 8): The Ministry of Finance (MoF) is considering refinancing to service the debts from the troubled strategic investment firm 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), according to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Lim explained that refinancing will enable the government to service the debt at a lower interest rate and will provide the government with some savings.

Lim also pressed for an explanation from the former government regarding the high interest rate from the 1MDB loan, which had been guaranteed by the federal government, and also the US$588 million payment as an underwriting fee to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

He noted the interest rate of the loan is estimated to be up to 100 basis points higher than the market price.

"We need to consider if we can repay the debt via refinancing so that we can get a lower rate and some savings," said Lim at the parliament here today, adding that the government could save up to RM1 billion over 20 years, if the interest rates were to be cut by 100 to 120 basis points.

Lim was responding to Selayang MP William Leong Jee Keen's query on the government's proposed measure to address the debt and liability issues of RM1.08 trillion.