KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 (Reuters) - Malaysia is in talks with China’s Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd to develop a prime Kuala Lumpur property project, barely a week after it dumped its original partners, the Straits Times reported on Tuesday.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak aims to sign an agreement with Wanda - owned by billionaire Wang Jianlin - during his visit to Beijing for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation this May 14-15, according to the report.
The report cited government and financial executive sources as saying that negotiations are now at an advanced stage to make the Wanda Group master developer of the project, and that this is now awaiting approval from China’s financial regulators.
Dalian Wanda Group declined to comment. The Prime Minister’s Office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Malaysia said on Wednesday the initial $1.7 billion property deal for Bandar Malaysia, which was a unit of troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), collapsed as the buyers, Iskandar Waterfront Holdings and China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC), failed to make payments.
Iskandar and CREC refuted the claims.
The deal was expected to ease the debt burden of 1MDB, which is at the centre of several international money laundering probes. 1MDB had racked up more than $11 billion in debt before beginning a restructuring programme in 2015. (Reporting by Joseph Sipalan; Additional reporting by Matthew Miller in BEIJING; Editing by Praveen Menon and Edwina Gibbs)