The deal was announced after an international open tender - which attracted initial interest from dozens of parties - called by 1MDB as part of its rationalization exercise.
IWH is the holding company for listed company Iskandar Waterfront city Bhd and is 60% owned by tycoon Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo and 40% owned by Johor Govt's Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ).
In Oct, 1MDB had announced that they have finally received planning approval from the govt for Bandar Malaysia, which includes a 4.05 gross development ratio and the planned HSR terminus, and two MRT stations.
40 per cent of the land is taken up by infrastructure such as transport facilities, parks, schools, and police and fire stations - leaving 60% of the land for development.
With the planning approval raising and giving certainty to the value of the land, 1MDB had initially expected a value of RM11.5b.
But after a keenly fought competitive tender, the IWH-CRCC consortium emerged the winner with the bid for 60% of Bandar Malaysia at RM7.41b - which values the project at RM12.35b.
3 1/2 years ago, 1MDB had paid an estimated RM1.6b (RM400m cash plus buying various pieces of land for MINDEF- including a 750 acre new RMAF airbase in Sendayan, a plot for a PDRM airbase in Subang and the 31 Royal Artillery Regiment base in Kajang.
On top of that, 1MDB also committed to pay RM2.1b to build and equip 8 military sites for MINDEF as compensation which brings the estimated cost of the land to RM3.7b.
But selling it for RM12.35b is a significant gain for 1MDB since it only had a RM4b valuation in their last financial statements.
This would mean that 1MDB could potential post a profit of RM8.6b out of this transaction.
After selling the 60% stake, the remaining 40% stake will be retained by 1MDB and will probably be eventually transferred back to the 1MDB's sole shareholder, the Ministry of Finance - thus Bandar Malaysia will be 76% owned by Malaysia and 24% owned by the Chinese firm.
And since the Johor state govt owns a 40% stake in IWH, this means that Bandar Malaysia will still be 54.4% owned by government.
It is anticipated that CRCC will be bringing in about RM3 billion of foreign direct investment into the country for this deal.
And if you add that to the Edra deal bought 100% by China' CGN group for RM9.83b (plus assuming debts of RM8b), that would mean a total of RM12.8b worth of foreign investments will come into the country just from 1MDB's last two deals.
This Bandar Malaysia deal is the 3rd major rationalization step for 1MDB and also fulfills Najib's promise to settle 1MDB by the end of this year - a move forced on Najib and 1MDB amidst heavy and sustained political attacks:
- Asset-swap deal with IPIC signed in May 2015 - RM16b
- Sale of Edra in Nov 2015 - RM17.3b
- Today's Sale of Bandar Malaysia - RM12.35b
It also proves that despite Tun Mahathir's frequent and ever-changing claims, RM42b or RM27b or billions didn't lesap - in fact there is a surplus!
After those 3 deals, 1MDB will still be left with 100% of the TRX project with remaining plots to be sold and construction well in progress, the RM300m Pulau Indah and the RM1.1b Penang land to be sold - meaning more billions to be gained too beyond the 3 milestones.
Here's a video of the TRX construction progress as at Nov 2015.
After today's signing, there would no longer be any fears that 1MDB will be a financial problem or sovereign risk for the government or for Malaysia anymore or any problems related to contingent liabilities related to 1MDB.
There should also be no more concerns that those bonds and loans given by KWAP, EPF, Tabung Haji etc would be at risk.
And hopefully, people finally realizes that no GST money was used to "bail out" 1MDB.
There's no doubt about it. Najib and 1MDB had worked hard and have delivered on their promise to "solve" 1MDB - exactly on schedule.
Here is wishing the Bandar Malaysia and TRX development all the best! Eventually, we will be left with two major developments that will help drive continued growth for Malaysia.
Here's a video giving you an idea of what TRX, the planned Islamic Finance Capital of the world, will look like when completed:
At this stage where the majority of the debt have been settled, 1MDB will still have:
1) 100% of TRX that will continue to be developed and bring economic gains and spin-offs to Malaysia
2) 40% of 1MDB with another effective interest of about 18% by Johor State Govt - that will continue to be developed and bring economic gains and spin-offs to Malaysia
3) delivered 8 military facilities to MINDEF
4) Pulau Indah and Penang land yet to be sold off/developed
All the above for initial RM1 million capital injection and two land deals.
It was never 1MDB's initial intent to have gone on to this rationalization plan but the continued political attacks on 1MDB, which prevented 1MDB from receiving a much-needed capital injection and unable to tap capital markets further, have forced the govt hands to do this.
For me and the Malaysians who wishes to see our economy not be affected by this in any way, we rather the debt be settled.
That 1MDB's RM42 debt be resolved or for 1MDB's RM42b debt not to be resolved?
You can never please them.
In fact, many people would not like the RM42b debt to be settled and for it to remain. They will reject all sorts of moves to settle the debt and will give whatever reasons why this debt should remain unsettled - mainly because they do not want to be proven wrong or continue to use this RM42b debt as an excuse to slam the government.