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Malaysia's 1MDB may look at property sales to cut huge debt burden: sources

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1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), a state firm, may look at selling some property assets as part of its new CEO's plan to overhaul the company and slash its huge debt load, people familiar with the matter said.

[KUALA LUMPUR] 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), a state firm, may look at selling some property assets as part of its new CEO's plan to overhaul the company and slash its huge debt load, people familiar with the matter said.

Dogged by much controversy, 1MDB has racked up debt of RM41.9 billion (US$11.6 billion) in a major spending spree to build up a portfolio of power plants, which it hopes to list this year in a US$3 billion offering.

"This is still at a very preliminary stage, it would only come after the IPO," one of the people said.

The company, whose advisory board is chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak, has property worth more than RM20 billion, a separate person with knowledge of the matter said.

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These include two major projects in central Kuala Lumpur - the Tun Razak Exchange which is being developed into a financial district and Bandar Malaysia, a commercial and residential development. It also owns large swathes of land in the island state of Penang.

The people declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak publicly about the matter.

Asked about the potential for property asset sales, a 1MDB spokesman noted that new CEO Arul Kanda was leading a strategic review of the business.

"Whilst it is still very early in the process, and no decisions have been made as yet, we intend to explore any and all options that will allow us to generate the maximum possible value from our portfolio of assets and products," he said.

REUTERS

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