30 Dec 2008
The Hong Kong Association of Banks announced yesterday that leftover values of Lehman Brothers minibonds are as much as 78.31 percent.
However, a source from the banking sector said the pricing, set as at November 21, is no longer applicable because of fundamental uncertainties following a legal challenge from Lehman liquidators.
"There have been no attempts to update the valuation," the source said.
The pricing of the minibonds will continue once the legal issue is settled, the source said.
However, "there will be potentially additional costs to be incurred as a result of the legal challenge.''
The banking association also said: ``If this claim [from Lehman's liquidators] is upheld, the value of the minibonds will significantly decrease.''
According to a Legislative Council document submitted by the association's Lehman task force yesterday, prices, as at November 21, of the minibonds ranged from 0.82 percent to 64.03 percent on average.
Series 11, tranche A, was worth the most among all the series and its price was 78.31 percent, after calculating the value of the underlying collateral. Those who bought the product for US$100 (HK$780) would get US$78.31. Remaining values of series five to nine of the minibonds were only 0.82 percent.
The pricing information no longer represents the current market value of the minibonds and the banks cannot assess how much a minibond investor may recover from the proceeds of the collateral underlying the minibonds, the association added.
A Legco meeting relating to the government buyback proposal for the minibonds will be held this morning.
Late last month, the minibond trustee, a US unit of HSBC (0005), received a letter from legal advisers to Lehman in the United States that the proceeds from any sale of the underlying collateral for the minibonds should be paid to the collapsed US investment bank before the issuer of the minibonds and in turn the investors.
The banks are still circulating the documents for the provision of up to HK$100 million to the trustee and expect it will not only be used for paying legal fees.
"The precise terms of the proposed funding have not yet been agreed between the banks and the trustee," the association said.
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