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Malaysia revises US$1.79B deal for US$33.8B 1MDB-conceived development

The Malaysian government entered into a revised agreement with a consortium comprising Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn. Bhd. and China Railway Engineering Corp. for the US$1.79 billion sale of a 60% stake in the US$33.8 billion Bandar Malaysia integrated development, The Nikkei reported.

Under the revised deal, the consortium will pay an upfront deposit of US$299 million, which is higher from the US$179 million it agreed to pay as part of the original deal. The payment schedule for the transaction will also be shortened to three years from seven years for "the benefit of the Malaysian government," according to the Dec. 17 report. Malaysia's ministry of finance will own the remaining 40% stake in the project.

Iskandar Waterfront Holdings, which controls 60% of the consortium, was reported earlier in December to be considering an IPO to raise funds for the 486-acre development that will feature a park, public housing, commercial buildings and a transport hub.

The 1Malaysia Development Bhd.-conceived project is part of Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's plan to foster and cement long-term bilateral relations between Malaysia and China and is expected to be the biggest Chinese investment in Malaysia to date.

Upon its completion, the project is expected to attract major multinational corporations and Fortune 500 companies, with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Huawei already showing interest in having bases within the development, according to Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guang Eng.