1MDB has drawn criticism from lawmakers because of its rising borrowing, with debt totaling 41.9 billion ringgit ($11.3 billion) as of March 2014. It repaid a $563 million overdue loan in February, after rescheduling the payment, and the government this month provided the company with a $257 million standby credit facility.
A BBB rating might be more suitable for Malaysia due to its level of income and development, and the nation scores weaker in terms of governance among its peers, Fitch’s Colquhoun said. 1MDB is a country demonstration of what weak governance means, he said. Fitch had said in January that 1MDB was a “contingent liability” on the sovereign.