Thursday, November 03, 2011

Investors leave Singapore office empty-handed


SINGAPORE: Retail investors in Singapore trying to salvage their doomed investments from the local MF Global office were left frustrated and empty-handed yesterday after they were told their trading positions were closed and their funds were frozen.

Dozens of worried local investors lined up at the MF Global office throughout the day seeking to recoup their money, but all they received was a form to complete after being told no money would be disbursed until liquidators wound down the bankrupt US brokerage.

"Of course I'm afraid I may not get back anything, that is why I am here," said Andre Chia, a 32-year-old pilot. "I'm waiting for the liquidation, MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore), maybe I'll end up at the Speakers' Corner," he added, referring to the only place in Singapore where protesters can gather without a permit.

In the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, hundred of Singaporeans gathered at Speakers' Corner to protest their losses from mini-bonds linked to the failed US bank.

Liquidators from KPMG have assured MF Global customers in Singapore that they are working to ensure all money in client accounts is returned to them.

However, several investors vented their anger that they were closed out of trading positions at a loss, with no option to wait for the market to turn. "I feel uneasy, I don't know how much I will lose. If I have to cut losses, I have to know how much I will lose," said 57-year-old John Wong, who had invested around S$8,000 (RM19,680) with the brokerage.

Around 20 investors went to the office yesterday afternoon, while local media reported that at least 60 people converged on the premises that morning. - Reuters

Dealing with a foreign broker firm you are not familiar with can be disastrous.
Luckily for Malaysians, MF Global has not been in Malaysia.