Flashy Jho Low said to sell Picasso, Basquiat artwork at loss

Flashy Jho Low said to sell Picasso, Basquiat artwork at loss

NEW YORK, Feb 12 ? Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho has attracted attention for his flashy lifestyle and real estate deals, as well as his connections to the prime minister’s family and the government’s troubled investment fund.

Now Low is once again creating buzz in the art world. Since February 3, he has sold works by Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Jean-Michel Basquiat, according to three people familiar with the matter. They fetched about US$54 million (RM224.8 million), with unusually steep losses on at least two pieces.

The artworks consigned by Low were among the top lots at Sotheby’s evening auction of Impressionist, modern and contemporary art in London this month. All three had been pledged as part of the collateral for a loan of about US$100 million from Sotheby’s Financial Services, two of the people said, asking not to be named because the information is private.

Low fielded questions last year over Malaysia’s government investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), whose advisory board is headed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. 1MDB has been the subject of overlapping investigations in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong amid allegations of financial irregularities. Low told newspapers that he provided informal consulting to the fund, didn’t break any laws and wasn’t being investigated.

Low and his representatives at Hong Kong-based Jynwel Capital, which he co-founded and leads, didn’t return calls and e-mails seeking comment on the art sales. Sotheby’s declined to comment.

Flashy Jho Low said to sell Picasso, Basquiat artwork at loss
February 12, 2016 – TMI


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