Saturday, 5 November 2011

Who can you trust with your money?

[Commentary : Who can you trust with your money? It seems that many forms of investments are risky or do not provide the returns that they are promising. Wine brokers claiming huge profits from wine investments, Land Banking companies that tell you buying an obscure piece of undeveloped and in UK is a sure win, brokeages that take too much risk and UBS letting a rouge trader lose Billions of dollars.

You wonder where all the moo-lah goes is a zero sum game, so if someone is losing big time, someone is winning big time, which side of the fence are you?]

Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011
AsiaOne, Reuters   
Worried investors swamp MF Global Singapore's office 

As MF Global Holdings, the futures broker run by former Goldman Sachs chief Jon Corzine, filed for bankruptcy in New York on Monday, retail investors swamped its Singapore office early yesterday morning, anxious about their investments.   

The Straits Times reported that about 30 investors clamoured to withdraw funds and close accounts at the brokerage's office on the 17th story at One George Street yesterday, as they feared for the safety of their money.

According to the report, a female employee asked investors to queue up and fill out withdrawal request forms shortly after 9.15am.

At around 10am, investors were no longer allowed to enter the office. They were met in the lobby instead where a male Caucasian employee, who declined to identify himself, told investors: "There is no trading taking place on any product. All trading platforms are inoperable at the moment. All incoming and outgoing funds are suspended.

"Your funds are segregated under MAS regulations and SGX regulations in Singapore. They are not the property of MF Global, they are your funds, they are held in Singapore."

One of the investors, Madam Kelly Tan, 48, told The Straits Times: "I couldn't sleep the whole night, can't eat the whole day. I called them but nobody picked up the phone. It was very scary for me.

"Now my worry is not just that I can't take back my money - I've also incurred debt."

Despite the fact that MF Global's trading platform has been down since Monday afternoon, her account has not been suspended. She said that yesterday alone, she had already incurred up to $40,000 debt from her open positions. She had invested more than $100,000 of her life savings in contracts for difference (CFDs) with MF Global.

"Of course I'm afraid I may not get back anything, that is why I am here," said Andre Chia, a 32-year-old pilot. "I'm waiting for the liquidation, MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore), maybe I'll end up at the Speakers' Corner," he added, referring to the only place in Singapore where protesters can gather without a permit.

In the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, hundred of Singaporeans gathered at Speakers' Corner to protest their losses from mini-bonds linked to the failed US bank.

Liquidators from KPMG have assured MF Global customers in Singapore that they are working to ensure all money in client accounts is returned to them.

However several investors vented their anger that they were closed out of trading positions at a loss, with no option to wait for the market to turn.

"I feel uneasy, I don't know how much I will lose. If I have to cut losses, I have to know how much I will lose," said 57-year-old John Wong, who had invested around $8,000 with the brokerage.

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