What a difference two months makes. During the July 1 protests, minibond investor Peter Lee was desperate and stressed - chanting slogans and trying to storm the Bank of China headquarters in Central. Now, he is relaxed and cheerful.
Having struggled for almost a year, Lee last month received a partial refund of more than HK$3 million after accepting an offer by banks to repay customers at least 60 per cent of their initial investment in minibonds.
"I'm very happy because the year-long distress has come to an end," Lee said. Lee was among thousands of Hongkongers who lost billions on minibonds guaranteed by Lehman Brothers when the US investment bank went bankrupt in September last year.
Unlike previous Sundays in the past year, during which he staged protests or met other investors, Lee yesterday had a relaxed lunch and then went hiking with friends. "I was suffering before," he said.
Lee said he would set aside HK$1 million to fund his son's studies in New Zealand - delayed by a year because his savings were tied up in minibonds. The rest would be used to pay for a flat he had bought.
"Although I accept it unwillingly, I don't think we can do more to fight for a better deal," Lee said.
He said his family of four will join other minibond victims at a protest tomorrow to mark a year since the US investment bank's collapse.
Yu Shing, 79, who invested HK$1.08 million in minibonds and got 70 per cent back late last month, also felt relieved. "He feels much better now," daughter Eileen Yu said, adding that stress had contributed to a stroke he suffered in November.
Monetary Authority figures show that from August 7 to September 2, about 70 per cent - or 17,717 - of the 25,000 eligible Lehman-linked minibond investors had accepted the banks' offer. So far, 183 customers have turned it down.
Meanwhile, dozens of investors classified as "experienced" or "professional" marched from Chater Garden to the Monetary Authority yesterday demanding that they be included in the offer.
The Securities and Futures Commission defines "experienced" investors as those who, in the three years before their first purchase of minibonds, executed at least five transactions involving leveraged products, structured products or a combination of them. "Professional" investors have a portfolio worth more than HK$8 million and at least two years of investment experience.
Minibonds are not corporate bonds but high-risk, credit-linked derivatives, marketed as a proxy investment in well-known companies.
- ► 2013 (306)
- ► 2012 (1270)
- ► 2011 (1873)
- ► 2010 (2369)
09/06 - 09/13
- View from a prudent home buyer
- Town hall meeting with Geithner
- Sale of UOB Life
- CPF Retirement account or CPF Life
- Seven new rules for first time home buyers
- Big food vs Big Insurance
- Make websites easy to use
- Forbers: World turns disapproving eyes on Singapor...
- Financial Planning - Practical Steps
- Fair and balanced
- Financial planning at a late age
- Website for budget airline
- Media interview on Lehman collapse
- Dubai Metro opens
- Legal action by Minibond investors
- Good return from policies taken in the past
- Student volunteers of FISCA
- FISCA's views on MAS new regulations on investment...
- Financial Advisers can volunteer for FISCA
- 8th anniversary of terrorist attack on World Trade...
- Obama's speech to Congress about health care
- Kennedy's letter to Obama
- Future of FISCA
- Lehman Collapse - one year later
- Payout on life insurance policy
- Common sense approach towards investment products
- Interview by Foreign TV
- Lack of standard to compare the payout
- Sudoku pocket book (Logic9)
- Health care practices in USA
- A new society (7) - a fair price
- MAS respond to feedback on sale of investment prod...
- Gambling on foreign currency
- SCMP:Peace of mind at last for the minibond invest...
- Life settlement
- Higher productivity - reduce commitng cost
- Six principles of life
- A new society (6) - sources of occupation
- Life Settlement
- Singapore now stands alone
- Independent, impartial medical advice
- Alchemy and financial innovation
- Lehman Brothers set for landmark appeal
- Preparing for the Worst
- BBC: Capitalism, A Love Story
- Staged Accidents
- Shape Quiz
- MAS and PM decline request for a meeting
- A new society (5) - Enjoyment of work
- A good compensation for Minibond
- Do you like the concepts?
- A considerate driver
- Survey: Land Banking
- "Capitalism is evil," says new Michael Moore film
- A new society (4) - time to rejuvenate
- Product issuers were probably cheating
- Distributors were negligent
- Reduced air fare
- New Exotic Investments Emerging on Wall Street
- The future will be different
- Cheated by a lawyer
- ▼ 09/06 - 09/13 (61)
- ► 2008 (2105)
- ► 2007 (1803)
- ► 2006 (696)
- ► 2005 (159)