UPDATE 2-Malaysian state investor 1MDB hires new chief as $3 bln IPO looms

Mon Jan 5, 2015 9:11am EST
 
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* 1MDB hires Arul Kanda as new President and group exec director

* Arul starts at 1MDB with immediate effect - statement

* Company to undertake strategic review of its business (Recasts with company confirmation)

By Yantoultra Ngui and Saeed Azhar

KUALA LUMPUR/SINGAPORE, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Debt-ridden state fund 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) said on Monday that it had hired an Abu Dhabi-based Malaysian investment banker as its new President and group executive director, who will embark on a review of the firm's business.

Arul Kanda succeeds 1MDB's chief executive officer Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman, who departs less than two years after his appointment in March 2013 amid criticism for leading the company into further debt.

Kanda, who starts at 1MDB immediately, said his priority will be to review the fund's operations.

A cross between a sovereign wealth fund and a private investment vehicle, 1MDB is chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. But it has faced criticism over the $11 billion in debt it has taken on after buying power plants, its investment decisions and the high fees paid to Goldman Sachs for handling bond issues.

The management change may further delay a long-expected $3 billion initial public offering (IPO) of its power plant assets, sources aware of the discussions told Reuters.   Continued...