unsecured opes creditors to get 30percent

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    By a staff reporter

    Unsecured creditors of collapsed stockbroker are to receive up to 30 cents in the dollar from their investment, administrator Ferrier Hodgson has said.

    The administrator said that based on current knowledge it estimated a dividend of up to 30 cents in the dollar with some "potential upside from recovery from 'Problem Clients', recovery from Riqueza BVI and recoveries available to a liquidator", under the Corporations Act.

    These include recovering property or compensation for the benefit of creditors of insolvent company and civil consequence of contravening civil penalty provisions, Ferrier said.

    Receivers and managers were appointed to the Opes Prime Group, Opes Prime Stockbroking, Leveraged Capital and Hawkswood Investments on May 27, after cash and stock movement irregularities were uncovered in some of the client accounts of Opes Prime Stockbroking.

    Deloitte Corporate Reorganisation Group are the receivers of Opes.

    Ferrier Hodgson said a second meeting to decide Opes Prime's future was likely to be held in the week commencing April 21.

    After which, the creditor will choose between liquidation, a deed of company arrangement or if administration should end.

    Regarding financiers ANZ and Merrill Lynch, the administrator said there were certain charges "void against Administrator/Liquidator (s266 and Part 5.7B Corporations Act)."

    Ferrier Hodgson said "investigations were ongoing to quantify consideration given by ANZ for charge and the indication is that "consideration exceeds $95 million relating to [the] workout plan."

    Merrill Lynch is in surplus, the administration said.

    Full documentation has been forwarded to law firm Mallesons for advice, Ferrier Hodgson said.

    Ferrier Hodgson said as of 27/3/2008, ANZ had $919 million in collateral/shares, Merrill Lynch $603 million and German bank Dresdner Kleinwort $67 million. The total, therefore, was $1,589 million, the administrators said.

    The figures reflect the theoretical "Mark to Market" value of shares held by financiers at appointment, and do not reflect estimated realisable value.

    Information regarding current collateral balances and monies due to financiers is considered market sensitive, Ferrier Hodgson said
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