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Singapore firm offers buy-back of products linked

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October 29, 2008

Singapore firm offers buy-back of products linked to bankrupt US firm
Singapore’s CIMB-GK Securities has become the first brokerage house in the city-state to offer to buy back financial products that are linked to the recent American financial meltdown from investors, reported government broadcaster Channel News Asia on its website.

CIMB-GK said in a statement released on Tuesday that it would buy over Lehman Minibond Series 3, 5 and 6 and Merrill Lynch Jubilee Series 3 LinkEarner Notes at the original investment amount, irrespective of interest earned.

But the scheme will first apply to what the company calls the "vulnerable investors". CIMB-GK said the group includes investors who are aged above 62, are less educated and have little investment experience.

The company did not say when or how the money will be paid, but it did say that interviews with vulnerable investors have already been conducted.

According to CIMB-GK's estimates, only 2 per cent of its total sales of S$19 million worth of Lehman Minibond and Merrill Lynch Jubilee Notes were made to vulnerable investors.

Those who fall outside the vulnerable category will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Some of these investors said compliance officers from CIMB-GK have already called them to arrange for an interview.

DBS Bank is also holding a dialogue session with affected investors on Thursday.

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