KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is hopeful of reaching an out-of-court settlement with Goldman Sachs (GS.N) over the 1MDB scandal soon, but that compensation of “one point something billion” dollars offered by the bank was too small.
The Southeast Asian nation has charged Goldman and 17 current and former directors of its units for allegedly misleading investors over bond sales totaling $6.5 billion that the U.S. bank helped raise for sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Mahathir said they have demanded $7.5 billion from Goldman and negotiations were ongoing.
“We would like to avoid having to go to the courts, but if they come up with a reasonable sum I think we will agree,” Mahathir, 94, said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.
“But at the moment their offer is too small. We’re continuing to talk with them to explain why they should pay what we demand. Of course it’s not the full amount, that they may be able to bring down, but we think that we can reach some agreement at a later stage.”
A spokesman for Goldman declined comment.
Mahathir said he hoped an agreement with Goldman would be reached “soon”.