Malaysia to sell 1MDB-linked superyacht for $126 million

The Cayman Islands-registered Equanimity has a pool, helicopter landing pad and cinema. The super-yacht was bought by financier Low Taek Jho with $250 million allegedly stolen from the 1MDB wealth fund. (AFP)
Updated 04 April 2019

Malaysia to sell 1MDB-linked superyacht for $126 million

  • The superyacht Equanimity is among assets allegedly bought by fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and his associates
  • Low Taek allegedly paid $250 million for the yacht

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will sell a luxury yacht linked to the 1MDB financial scandal for $126 million to a local company, authorities said on Wednesday, as the country’s toppled leader went on trial over the controversy.

The Equanimity — equipped with a pool, helicopter landing pad and cinema — was originally bought by playboy financier Low Taek Jho with $250 million allegedly stolen from Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

It was seized by Indonesia last year and sent to Malaysia in August after the long-ruling government of Najib Razak was unexpectedly ejected from office in a historic election.

Malaysia’s new government, led by veteran politician Mahathir Mohamad, has been seeking to claw back looted funds, and has for months been seeking buyers for the vessel.

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas said the Cayman Islands-registered yacht was being sold to Genting Malaysia, which operates hotels, resorts and the country’s only legal casino.

“The government of Malaysia is pleased to announce that the superyacht Equanimity is to be sold to Genting Malaysia at the price of $126 million,” he said
in a statement, adding the purchase would be completed by the end of April.

Thomas said the offer was the best Malaysia got since the vessel was put up for sale five months ago, and the government had received many offers, including a few over $100 million.

Before it was seized off the Indonesian tourist island of Bali in February last year, the yacht was believed to have been used by Low — better known as Jho Low — to sail around Asia, as he sought to evade arrest over the 1MDB scandal.

Low, allegedly a mastermind in the looting of 1MDB, is still at large, although he has been charged in absentia in Malaysia over the scandal.

Known for partying with A-list celebrities and flaunting his wealth, Low was a close associate of Najib, who now faces 42 charges of corruption, abuse of power and money laundering over his role in the 1MDB saga.

Najib’s first trial over the corruption scandal began in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday, where he pleaded not guilty to seven charges of corruption and money laundering.

The 1MDB saga, which allegedly saw billions of dollars stolen by Najib and his cronies, played a huge part in the election loss of Najib. He has denied any wrongdoing.


Japan’s ANA Holdings says buying 20 more Boeing 787 Dreamliners

Updated 25 February 2020

Japan’s ANA Holdings says buying 20 more Boeing 787 Dreamliners

  • The price tag for the purchases was not disclosed
  • Planes expected to go into service between financial years 2022 and 2025

TOKYO: Japan’s ANA Holdings said Tuesday it will buy 20 new Boeing 787-10 and 787-9 aircraft, with the planes expected to go into service between 2022 and 2025.
The order will be made up of 11 787-10 aircraft, which will serve domestic routes, and nine 787-9 planes for international destinations.
The price tag was not disclosed.
All Nippon Airways has been gradually replacing its Boeing 777s with 787s, citing better fuel efficiency and a reduction in noise emissions.
Once all 20 of the newly ordered planes go into service, ANA will operate some 103 787s, the firm said.
“Boeing’s 787s have served ANA with distinction, and we are proud to expand our fleet by adding more of these technologically advanced aircraft,” said Yutaka Ito, executive vice president of ANA and ANA Holdings, in a statement.
“These planes represent a significant step forward for ANA as we work to make our entire fleet more eco-friendly and to reduce noise output,” Ito added.