Friday, February 20, 2009

SCMP: Treasury chief becomes first to face Legco panel over minibonds

20 Feb 2009
Paggie Leung
Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Chan Ka-keung is expected to face tough questions over policies and regulation of financial products today when he makes his first appearance at the Legco subcommittee investigating the Lehman Brothers minibonds fiasco.

Professor Chan, who will be the first to face the 22-member subcommittee set up to study issues arising from Lehman Brothers-related products, will attend a three-hour open hearing from 10am.

The chairman of the subcommittee, Raymond Ho Chung-tai, said yesterday that questions would focus mainly on the government's regulatory framework for structured financial products and dealings in securities, the sale of minibonds, and its policies on investor protection.

"The minister will be accompanied by a legal adviser - Department of Justice deputy law officer Cathy Wong Pui-ming - and Cheng Yan-chee, deputy secretary for financial services and the treasury," Dr Ho said. A written statement that had already been submitted by Professor Chan would be made public after the secretary confirmed it as evidence.

Peter Chan Kwong-yue, chairman of Allied Victims of Lehman Products, hoped the investigation would force the government to take responsibility for its role in the debacle. "Until now, the government has not shown accountability," he said. "Why were all these high-risk derivatives allowed to be marketed and sold as low-risk financial products?"

Hong Kong investors lost billions of dollars on minibonds guaranteed by Lehman Brothers when the US investment bank went bankrupt in September 2008. Minibonds are not corporate bonds, but consist of high-risk, credit-linked derivatives. They are marketed as a proxy investment in well-known companies.

Mr Chan said the chief executive and the financial secretary, who urged banks to buy back all the minibonds, should also be summoned.

Professor Chan's deputy, Julia Leung Fung-yee, and the heads of the Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission will also testify. Witnesses will testify under oath.

Primary education is deficient

Strong turnout shows money matters

More news about FISCA will be announced soon.

Selling a property - some views

 1. The report is good for those who do not have the time to do some research. The content of the report can be obtained from various property websites.  
   2. This is an isolated case. I guess it's bad luck for the owner to get only 1 buyer who pressed down the price. The buyer has insider news.  
 3. There are situations where desperate sellers who wants to get rid of the property fastest at a discount in order to tie over a crisis. Perhaps the price this agent brought in was the ONLY offer for the period they market. The sale took place at a time of transition when property market was about to take off. 
  4. Flipping a property for a fast gain is common practice, but hiding information/providing misleading information/not giving a seller a "best" deal is sinful of a property agent.  
  5. in all industries, there will be black sheeps. there should be some systems of control to weed them out. the housing agents industry is one desperately in need now.  
  6. Willing buyers vs willing sellers. Do ur homework. DON'T BLAME ANYONE. BE SMART!  
 7. Middle men are dangerous.
  8. All property agents should be regulated. There are simply too many fly-by-night agents in Singapore. 
  9. Better engage an agent (pay him a fee and transfer the accountability risk to him) to do it.  
  10. Invite prospective buyers (not agents) to send in their quotations with a description of the properties listed in the newspaper. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Survey: Selling or renting a property

The newspaper carried the story about a property agent being sued by the seller for giving bad advice to sell a property at below the market value. The property was sold to the buyer (who was a friend of the agent) who then re-sold the property at a big profit.

The court decided in favour of the plaintiff and required the property agent to compensate the original owner for the loss.

What is your view on this matter? Survey.

Here are the survey results.

Before you buy, sell or rent a property, invest $25 in a property report. Here is a sample report
If you are interested in this introductory offer, complete this form.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Service to lodge a complaint

Some investors of the credit linked notes received their rejection letter. They telephoned me for assistance. They have not read my blog or been in touch with the group leaders. 

I am not able to provide individual assistance to these investors. If you need assistance to lodge a complaint with FIDREC, you can contact Adrian Tan (email:

Adrian will charge you a small fee for the time that he has to spend to help you. You can discuss the fee with Adrian and decide if you wish to pay for his services.

You can also read my blog to get in touch with the group leaders for the credit linked notes that you have bought. If you wish to join a class action, you can read my blog for announcement of the meetings.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Rejection letters from financial institutions

Many note holders (of mini bonds, high notes, pinnacle notes, jubilee notes) are getting rejection letters from the financial institutions.  They are disappointed. They wish to take legal action. 
I am getting e-mails from these investors. It is quite discouraging to see so many people who are disappointed with the decision of the financial institutions.
Here is a comment:
The most insulting part is that we all got form letters, and not even one word of explanation was given. That is why the XXX brand stand for, cruelty and arrogance. No one in my family and no one that came after me will even bank with this brand.

Pro-Trader: learning trading in a simulated environment

Pro-Trader was designed to give a simulated experience of trading in financial assets, especially of how prices respond to  news that occur at any time. A person has to practice many times on this game to get an insight and understanding of the trading environment in the real world. 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Discuss respectfully

Read this article
Give your views here.

Taking care of the old parents

Wonderful short story posted in

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and a four-year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together nightly at the dinner table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating rather difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass often milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner at the dinner table. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. Sometimes when the family glanced in grandfather’s direction, he had a tear in his eye as he ate alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old son watched it all in silence.

  One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?” Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and mama to eat your food from when I grow up.” The four-year-old son smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table.

  For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled. Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day is being laid for the child’s future.

Avoid dual currency products

Dear Tan
I am from Malaysia. I wish to invest in dual currency investment . Can you advise in this market situation , which foreign currency can invest ? Aussie dollar? any risks ? I am new in this investment. Will I lose all my money or i will make profit from it.

My advice is to avoid all dual currency products. Read my views .

You can also search my blog for postings under the title "dual currency".

Forum for DBS High Notes 5 investors

DBS High Notes Investor Group (HNIG) will be holding a Forum to discuss legal options.

Date: Wednesday, 18 Feb 2009
Time: 6.30pm Registration begins, 7.00pm sharp forum commences
Place: PSB Academy Delta Road Campus, 355 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee

For new comers, you must register with us at
For more information and to register, please email

Blog Archive