US probes Deutsche Bank’s dealings with Malaysia’s 1MDB: WSJ

Deutsche Bank helped 1MDB raise $1.2 billion in 2014. (File/AFP)
Updated 11 July 2019

US probes Deutsche Bank’s dealings with Malaysia’s 1MDB: WSJ

  • Prosecutors are focused on investigating the role of Tan Boon-Kee in 1MDB and Deutsche Bank dealings
  • Deutsche Bank said they have cooperated with law enforcement and regulatory agencies regarding the investigation

The US Justice Department is investigating whether Deutsche Bank AG violated foreign corruption or anti-money-laundering laws in its work for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday.
The news comes after the bank announced plans to scrap its global equities unit, cut some fixed-income operations and slash 18,000 jobs globally in a $8.34-billion restructuring program.
Deutsche Bank’s work for 1MDB included helping to raise $1.2 billion in 2014 as concerns about the fund’s management and financials had begun to circulate, the newspaper said, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.
Prosecutors are mainly looking into the role of Tan Boon-Kee, a colleague of a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive, Tim Leissner, who worked with him on 1MDB-related business, the paper said.
She left Goldman to become Asia-Pacific head of banking for financial institutions clients at Deutsche Bank, where she was involved with further 1MDB dealings, it added.
In an emailed statement, Deutsche Bank said it had fully cooperated with all regulatory and law enforcement agencies that made inquiries about the fund.
“As stated in asset forfeiture complaints filed by the US Department of Justice, 1MDB made ‘material misrepresentations and omissions to Deutsche Bank officials’ in connection with 1MDB’s transactions with the bank,” the bank told Reuters.
“This is consistent with the bank’s own findings in this matter,” it added.
A US DoJ civil asset-forfeiture complaint repeatedly describes Deutsche Bank as being misled by 1MDB officers, the WSJ said.
Tan left Deutsche Bank last year, after it discovered communications between her and Jho Low, the Malaysian financier the Justice Department has described as the central player in the 1MDB scandal, it added.
A spokeswoman for insurance company FWD Group, Tan’s current employer, said Tan declined to comment when contacted by the WSJ.
The DoJ and FWD did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.


Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

Updated 14 November 2019

Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

  • US-China trade deal will help remove ‘dark cloud’ over oil, says Barkindo

LONDON: Oil prices reversed early losses on Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said it saw no signs of global recession and rival US shale oil production could grow by much less than expected in 2020.

Also supporting prices were comments by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who said the US economy would see a “sustained expansion” with the full impact of recent interest rate cuts still to be felt.

Brent crude futures stood roughly flat at around $62 per barrel by 1450 GMT, having fallen by over 1 percent earlier in the day. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $56 per barrel, up 20 cents or 0.4 percent.

“The baseline outlook remains favorable,” Powell said.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said global economic fundamentals remained strong and that he was still confident that the US and China would reach a trade deal.

“It will almost remove that dark cloud that had engulfed the global economy,” Barkindo said, adding it was too early to discuss the output policy of OPEC’s December meeting.

HIGHLIGHT

  • US oil production likely to grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations.
  • The prospects for ‘US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.’

He also said some US companies were now saying US oil production would grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations — reducing the risk of an oil glut next year.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday Washington and Beijing were close to finalizing a trade deal, but he fell short of providing a date or venue for the signing ceremony.

“The expectations of an inventory build in the US and uncertainty over the OPEC+ strategy on output cuts and US/China trade deal are weighing on oil prices,” said analysts at ING, including the head of commodity strategy Warren Patterson.

In the US, crude oil inventories were forecast to have risen for a third straight week last week, while refined products inventories likely declined, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

ANZ analysts said the prospects for US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.