opes lift capital now is chimaera next

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    Market unease over Chimaera CapitalBrought to you by
    Font Size: Decrease Increase Print Page: Print Katherine Jimenez | April 12, 2008
    LESS than 24 hours after the $600 million collapse of Sydney broking firm Lift Capital, speculation has surfaced that Melbourne stock lender Chimaera Capital could be in trouble.

    One banking source said yesterday that Chimaera had a similar stock lending model to Lift Capital.

    He also said the market had been aware of possible concerns about Lift for "some weeks" and that there was also unease about Chimaera.

    A spokeswoman for Chimaera managing director Ian Pattison issued a blunt "no comment" yesterday.

    Before The Australian could ask a question the spokeswoman said "they won't be commenting" or returning calls. Chimaera's other directors are Sal Catalano and Gloria Toaldo.

    Market speculation about Chimaera came as Lift Capital went into voluntary administration yesterday.

    Lift is the third stock lending and stockbroking firm in just two months to hit trouble in the wake of Tricom and Opes.

    Its troubles are expected to create further uncertainty in the already fragile local stock market.

    Opes Prime collapsed last month with debts of up to $1 billion and Tricom hit financial woes after receiving a $100 million margin call from lender ANZ. All three firms are said to have similar stock-lending models.

    Lift's financial backer and secured creditor Merrill Lynch is said to have exposure of about $600 million.

    Merrill is understood to have already started selling some of the stock held by Lift but registered in Merrill's name.

    National Australian Bank is believed to have a small and immaterial exposure to Lift.

    According to Chimaera's website, the firm was formed in 1996 with a mandate to develop and trade structured products.

    Its business covers markets mainly in Australasia and western Europe.

    Chimaera's website also notes: "our focus is providing tailored solutions to the continuing challenges faced by our clients in rapidly changing markets within an increasingly complex regulatory environment".

 
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