HONG KONG: Hong Kong's markets watchdog on Thursday fined Goldman Sachs's Asian business $350 million for its role in Malaysia's multibillion-dollar 1MDB scandal, the largest single fine ever levied by the regulator in the Asian financial hub.
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said serious lapses and deficiencies in management controls at Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. had contributed to the misappropriation of $2.6 billion raised by the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) raised the funds in three bond offerings in 2012 and 2013. A Goldman Sachs spokesman said the Wall Street bank would issue a statement in due course.
The 1MDB scandal has been a costly and long-running sore for the U.S investment bank, though there are signs it may be close to drawing a line under the affair. In July, Goldman agreed to pay $3.9 billion to settle Malaysia's criminal probe and this week it is expected to agree to pay more than $2 billion to settle U.S. charges over its role in the scandal.
Malaysian and U.S. authorities estimate $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB in an elaborate scheme that spanned the globe and implicated high-level officials in the fund, former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Goldman staff and others.
The three bond offerings, which raised a combined $6.5 billion, were arranged and underwritten by UK-based Goldman Sachs International, with work conducted by deal team members in multiple jurisdictions, who shared the revenue generated.