German firms urged to explore new opportunities in KSA

Updated 12 March 2015
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German firms urged to explore new opportunities in KSA

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Germany are seeking to develop their economic ties, the SPA news agency reported after talks in Riyadh between officials from the two countries.
“The amount of trade and joint investments does not reflect the economic potential of both countries’ economies,” said Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf, following the meeting.
German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said his country was ready to boost its role in diversifying the Saudi economy, especially in infrastructure, transport and the petrochemicals sectors, SPA reported.
Bilateral trade between Germany and Saudi Arabia reached $12.4 billion in 2013, of which the Kingdom’s exports to the European powerhouse amounted to a mere $418 million, according to figures provided by Al-Assaf.
The countries have 191 joint projects with a total investment of $17.2 billion, said Al-Assaf, who invited German companies to explore further opportunities in the Kingdom.
After Riyadh, Gabriel’s delegation is to visit the UAE and Qatar.


Malaysian court delays Goldman case on 1MDB fund theft

Updated 47 min 41 sec ago
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Malaysian court delays Goldman case on 1MDB fund theft

  • Malaysia filed criminal charges against three units and two ex-employees of the Wall Street titan in December
  • They are accused of misappropriating $2.7 billion and other crimes in relation to bond issues they arranged for 1MDB
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian case against Goldman Sachs on charges the US investment bank stole huge sums from the country’s 1MDB state fund was postponed Monday until September after defense lawyers argued there was a problem with paperwork.
Malaysia filed criminal charges against three units and two ex-employees of the Wall Street titan in December, accusing them of misappropriating $2.7 billion and other crimes in relation to bond issues they arranged for 1MDB.
Allegations that huge sums were looted from the investment vehicle — in a fraud that allegedly involved former Malaysian leader Najib Razak — contributed to the last government’s election defeat last year.
At a procedural hearing in Kuala Lumpur Monday, Goldman lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said the Hong Kong unit of the bank received its summons just last week, while the summons sent to the Singapore unit only included three out of four charges.
The third Goldman unit in the case is based in London.
He asked for three months to get further instructions from his clients, and the judge set September 30 for another procedural hearing.
Prosecutor Aaron Paul Chelliah told reporters that the prosecution believed all documents had been properly served.
“Their clients have some reservations on whether they were properly served,” he said. “Our position is they have been served.”
Goldman helped arranged bonds totaling $6.5 billion on three occasions for 1MDB, for which they earned fees said to be well above typical rates.
The bank and its former employees are accused of making false and misleading statements to misappropriate huge sums from the 2012 and 2013 bond issuances.
Goldman has vowed to fight the charges, saying the former Malaysian government and 1MDB lied to the bank.
The former bankers accused in the case are Tim Leissner and Ng Chong Hwa, and both have also been charged in the US over the scandal.
Leissner pleaded guilty in America, while Ng was extradited to the US from Malaysia in May and pleaded not guilty.