Last month I blogged, here, about a worsening ownership battle for a planned Malaysian ship bunkering facility, the Asia Petroleum Hub, on a reclaimed island in Johor to rival Singapore’s which is threatening to derail the project and could hurt CIMB, one of the country’s largest commercial banks.
The project leader, KIC Oil and Gas, has drawn nearly half of its RM1.4 billion financing facility from CIMB to fund construction work. But it has failed to resolve problems with another key shareholder Seaport Terminal and this has prompted CIMB to consider suspending further funding for the construction.
Among the questions which arose then was why was the funding released by CIMB before the ownership problems are resolved. Adding to the mystery is an affidavit filed a few years ago in Singapore, here, in a suit between KIC and an ex-employee that the salary offered by KIC was only for "budgetary" purposes in a "dummy" contract which was used for the purpose of obtaining loans.
Meanwhile, The Malaysian Insider has today reported, here, that CIMB has asked its 36,000 employees to consider taking up to 6 months of no-pay leave as it aims to cut costs in the economic slowdown, the first major Malaysian company to do so. However, Group CEO Nazir Razak (photo) has said there was no set target on the number of employees accepting the offer and denied the company was cutting staff.
If we are looking at yet another bailout again, Nazir certainly has nothing to worry about. After all, big brother is going to be the country's numero uno.
These people never learn. Thank God two of my children who were with CIMB have already left the bank.