The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has given way to legislators' demands to show them a censored part of a report investigating Lehman Brothers minibonds.
HKMA chief executive Joseph Yam Chi-kwong, who had previously refused to disclose the sealed findings citing the public interest, agreed on Monday night to present the findings to legislators for discussion, according to Raymond Ho Chung-tai.
Ho, who represents the engineering sector, expects lawmakers to discuss the matter on Friday at a closed-door meeting, with the next hearing taking place on Tuesday.
Yam, who testified at a Legco hearing for the first time yesterday, said the HKMA bears a strong responsibility to handle problems caused by the minibonds saga even though it issued warnings before the Lehman collapse.
In response to legislators such as Emily Lau Wai-hing, who accused Yam of ``falling asleep'' when handling complaints about the sale of minibonds, he said the HKMA is doing its best. But the search for justice would take time.
``Our heart goes to investors and we really want to help them,'' Yam said at the three-hour hearing.
``We will not be softhearted when we handle the complaints as they will affect our banking system. We are in a hurry to complete them.''
Almost 300 investors protested outside Legco yesterday, accusing Yam of turning a blind eye to questionable selling practices behind the derivatives.
The territory's de facto central bank aims to complete handling 70 percent of the more than 20,000 complaints it has received by March next year.
More than 6,000 cases have been settled or nearly settled, according to Yam.
From the end of 2007 to early 2008, eight banks adjusted ratings of credit linked products _ including minibonds _ to ``high-risk'' among 16 banks being investigated, Yam said.
In answer to a question by Ronny Tong Ka-wah, Yam suggested the term minibond may be misleading.
He had read minibond prospectuses, which referred to the derivatives as bonds.
But Yam reiterated that the Securities and Futures Commission is responsible for approving securities products and the HKMA has no right to give opinions when they are approved.
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