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Malaysia's 1MDB to seek partners for Bandar property project

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Malaysia's 1MDB said on Friday it will start looking for suitors to invest in Bandar Malaysia, one of its two major property projects, the other being Tun Razak Exchange (above).

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's 1MDB said on Friday it will start looking for suitors to invest in Bandar Malaysia - one of its two major property projects - as pressure on the troubled state fund to pare back its US$11.6 billion (S$15.6 billion) debt burden mounts.

1MDB has been dogged by years of controversy over the debt, which has weighed on the ringgit and the country's sovereign credit rating. This month the central bank said it would launch an enquiry into the loss-making fund.

Sources also said last week that 1MDB is likely to abort plans for a US$3 billion IPO of its power unit and focus on an outright sale of its energy assets.

1MDB, whose advisory board is chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak, had flagged the likelihood of partners for its property projects when it announced the results of a strategic review in February.

It said in a statement on Friday it will seek proposals from potential investors within the next two weeks for the Bandar project - a 495-acre commercial and residential development in Kuala Lumpur.

It has completed one asset sale for its other major property project - the Tun Razak Exchange - selling a 665 million ringgit (S$242 million) plot of land to Indonesian property developer Mulia Group last month.

REUTERS