Malaysia regulator unable to conclude if anti-graft chief broke law

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's securities regulator on Tuesday said it was unable to "conclusively establish" whether the country's top anti-graft official violated a law on securities trading after conducting a probe.

Azam Baki, chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), faced calls this month https://www.reuters.com/markets/stocks/malaysias-top-anti-graft-official-cooperate-with-regulator-after-share-trading-2022-01-06 to explain allegations that he owned millions of shares in two public listed companies in 2015 and 2016.

He has said that his share trading account had been used by his brother and that he had "no interest or benefit in the shares purchased".

The Securities Commission, the regulator, had said it would look into whether Azam had violated a law that requires a trading account to be in the name of the beneficial owner or authorised nominee.

In a statement on Tuesday, the regulator said it had concluded its enquiry and based on the evidence gathered "the SC is not able to conclusively establish" that a breach occurred.

Azam said the Securities Commission informed him that the inquiry had concluded, and that he will continue as chief MACC. commissioner.

"I am thankful for the decision of the Securities Commission who has found that I have not committed any offence," he said in a statement.

Azam was appointed chief MACC commissioner in 2020 after playing a key role in major investigations, including the multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) that led to the election defeat of former Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Najib was convicted of corruption in one of several 1MDB cases last year. He has denied all wrongdoing and has appealed the verdict.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff, writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Ed Davies, Martin Petty)