KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia may pursue lawsuits against Goldman Sachs over the U.S. investment bank’s role in the multi-billion dollar corruption scandal at state fund 1MDB, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said in an interview with CNBC.
Goldman settled with Malaysia in 2020 by agreeing to pay $2.5 billion in cash and guaranteeing the return of $1.4 billion in assets to the country in exchange for dropping all criminal charges against the bank.
But Anwar, who came to power in late 2022, said earlier this year that Malaysia was re-evaluating the deal as the settlement sum was small.
“I am not discounting the possibility of proceeding again with the lawsuits,” Anwar told CNBC in an interview aired on Monday.
Malaysia is also considering other options, including negotiations, Anwar said.
Goldman did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The U.S. bank has always denied wrongdoing in the 1MDB case.
Malaysian and U.S. authorities estimate some $4.5 billion were stolen from 1MDB between 2009 and 2014, in a globe-spanning scheme that implicated high-level government and banking officials in Malaysia and elsewhere.
Goldman had helped 1MDB raise $6.5 billion in two bond offerings, earning itself $600 million in fees, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
As part of the 2020 settlement, Goldman is also required to make a one-time interim payment of $250 million if the Malaysian government has not received at least $500 million in assets and proceeds by August 2022, the bank said in a regulatory filing this year.
The two parties disagreed over whether Malaysia recovered at least $500 million as of August 2022 and whether any interim payment was due, Goldman said.
The dispute would be settled by arbitration if the two are unable to resolve the matter, the bank said.
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Devika Syamnath)