Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Lehman Brothers minibond holders are demanding a full refund of their money following the government's proposal that banks buy back the failed US investment bank's minibonds from investors.
The Hong Kong government on Monday proposed that 19 distributor banks and brokerage firms buy back minibonds from clients at market value to shorten the painful process of individuals recovering their money and limit reputational damage to banks.
About 50 investors attended a Democratic Party meeting yesterday to discuss the proposal.
Some minibond holders said they would not be happy if they can only get back 60 to 70 percent of their investment and insisted on a 100 percent refund. They also blamed the government for lacking supervision of investment products.
The investors said they will continue to pursue legal action on the marketing practices of the banks promoting Lehman minibonds.
Undersecretary of Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau Julia Leung Fung-yee reiterated yesterday that banks "are not exempted from the investigation on marketing practices even if they are willing to buy back."
The government expects distributors to look at the proposal and assess its potential risks before deciding within a week on whether to accept.
Investors will separately meet Bank of China (Hong Kong) (2388) representatives and lawmakers at the Legislative Council today.
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