opes clients pursue court injunction

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    By a staff reporter

    Unlisted office supply company CMG Equity Investments and Solen Pty Ltd are in the Federal Court this afternoon seeking an injunction against the further sell-off of company-held shares by Opes Prime Stockbroking receiver Australian and New Zealand Banking Group.

    The court has heard of a meeting between representatives of Lincoln Indicators, ANZ and Opes Prime, including Opes director Laurie Emini and Julian Smith, where Mr Emini stated that Opes clients retained beneficial ownership of their shares.

    Two of the four parties who brought the case, Jason Dixon and Gull Investments, have withdrawn from the action, leaving CMG and Solen as the remaining litigants. Both companies have accounts with various margin lenders.

    The hearing is expected to resume at 1445 AEDT.

    A win would give hope to the 1000 other clients to pursue actions against Opes after the Melbourne-based stock broker's $1 billion collapse.

    CMG has argued the validity of the contractual fine print on an Opes marketing brochure that stated clients who put up stock as security to take out margin loans would be classed as unsecured lenders.

    On Wednesday, CMG chief executive Leo Pegoli revealed that the firm was a client of Opes. "Are we clients of Opes Prime? Yes. Are we unhappy? Yes. Are we seeking a remedy? Yes", Mr Pegoni told The Australian.

    Yesterday, CMG's lawyer David Denton SC told The Australian that taking that statement at face value without taking into account Opes' other claims in the document would be "diabolically silly, and negligence in the extreme".

    Previously, Mr Denton has said out that Opes stated in the same document that "the investor retains beneficial and economic ownership of the lent stock including full exposure to dividends and corporate actions, and exposure to market risk. The transaction can be reversed at any time."

    Mr Denton has claimed that his clients are in a special category and receive different representations with Opes.

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