Sun, Oct 19, 2008 - Page 11 News List

KMT legislator calls for freeze of Lehman accounts

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

A Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator urged the government on Friday to immediately freeze the NT$5.71 billion (US$175.29 million) kept by the bankrupt Lehman Brothers in two accounts of Polaris MF Global Futures Co as “good faith” deposits.

KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) said at a press conference that some 51,000 Taiwanese investors who bought structured notes from Lehman Brothers suffered losses totaling NT$40 billion and that the government should follow the examples of Japan and South Korea by freezing the funds of Lehman Brothers to protect domestic investors.

Wu also called for a thorough check to determine if the collapsed Wall Street investment bank still has other funds and assets in Taiwan.

Wu lashed out at Securities and Futures Investors Protection Center chairwoman Chan Tsai-hung (詹彩虹) for remaining silent on the matter.

“Did Chan know that Lehman Brothers still has NT$5.71 billion in cash in Taiwan? If she didn’t, she should step down. If she knew it but took no action, she should all the more step down,” Wu said.

In response, Chan said her center had already sent a written notice to the Financial Supervisory Commission and that the center and the commission were actively pursuing the matter.

Meanwhile, Ted Ho (賀鳴珩), chairman of Polaris MF Global Futures Co (寶來曼氏期貨), confirmed that Lehman Brothers still has NT$5.71 billion in two accounts with his company and that no one was allowed to touch the funds.

Ho said that although the trustee in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy had requested a takeover of the funds, his company had replied that the company had to consult with government authorities in Taipei on the matter.

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