Yesterday, a group of Minibond investors turned up at the National Library at 7pm to talk about their “Minibond woes” and discuss further action.
As the meeting was arranged at a short notice, I had expected only a small group of investors to be at the meeting. Instead, I saw a big group of 100+ investors gathered when I went there to have a look. Many of them heard about the meeting from Mr Tan Kin Lian’s blog and from newspapers.
There were even a handful of jounalists there to gather feedback from the investors. They duly reported the event in the media. I would like to thank the press for highlighting and increasing the public awareness of the current situation.
Straits Times: Investors Turn to MAS
Mini-bonds, Major Headaches
Business Times: MAS Cracks Whip to Get Fair Deal for Investors (Accessible only after 6pm)
A decision was made by minibond holders not to waste time and to submit the Minibond Petition to MAS immediately. Among other things, the petition urges MAS to:
Mr Tan Kin Lian will be helping to organise another proper meeting for structured product victims. If you like to be kept informed, please sign his online petition to provide him with your details if you haven’t already done so.
At the same time while the Minibond meeting was taking place, MAS was having an emergency meeting to discuss how to handle the situation. Late last night, MAS issued a statement on this:
Essentially, they have told financial institutions to appoint third parties to oversee their complaints handling processes and investigations into any mis-selling of these structured products.
Earlier on in the same evening, I also had the opportunity, together with a small group of Minibond holders, to meet up with the CEO of HSBC Institutional Trust last evening to seek greater clarity on the current situation.
Other than clarifying their role as a trustee and their limitations, I couldn’t really obtain much information from them beyond the FAQ they have already published on the Minibond. These are some of the points from the meeting:
Separately, someone has emailed me a FAQ issued by Lehman Brothers Singapore dated 22nd September 2008. This was addressed to all distributors and holders of bonds issued by Minibond Limited but interestingly, this is the first time I have come across this document.