Investors want news on asset manager probe, fear cover-up
KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — A group of investors want the Finance Ministry and Securities Commissions (SC) to complete investigations, already delayed two years, on what they say are losses of more than RM13.5 million invested in an asset management company.
They allege that licensed asset management firm RBTR Asset Management Bhd had failed to pay them the principal sums in a Euro Deposit Investment (EDI) scheme upon maturity.
After taking over the company in October 2009, the Securities Commission (SC) and its appointed receiver, BDO Binder, informed the investors the following year that RBTR had less than RM10,000 in its bank account that once held as much as RM13.5 million.
“This is a clear cut case for the SC or Ministry of Finance to pursue an outright criminal case or criminal breach of trust against the criminal parties,” Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua told reporters at a press conference here.
“However, the investors have not received any substantive updates in the past two years, nor has any of their money been recovered.
“We are concerned that no further action was taken because the case involves Bank Rakyat chairman Tan Sri Dr Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim and Bank Rakyat managing director Datuk Kamaruzaman Che Mat,” he added.
Bank Rakyat had once held a 20 per cent stake in RBTR and lent its “Rakyat” name and logo to RBTR, then called Rakyat BTR Capital Partners Sdn Bhd, when RBTR had solicited funds from the public from mid-2007 till mid-2008.
Syed Jalaludin and Kamaruzaman were directors of RBTR before Bank Rakyat sold its stake in 2008.
But the investors claim they were not informed of Bank Rakyat’s withdrawal, despite the fact that most had invested with RBTR due to the company’s association with the Bank Rakyat Group.
“The reason my husband and I invested our hard-earned RM150,000 in the first place was because Bank Rakyat guaranteed we would receive a return,” a 64-year-old retiree told The Malaysian Insider.
“This whole fiasco has caused me so much stress, and now I can’t even pursue legal action as I barely have enough money to pay my monthly medical bills for my cancer treatment,” she added.
RBTR had told investors that the EDI was a capital-protected investment into AAA-rated banks in Europe with total annual returns of eight per cent payable every six months and capital to be paid upon maturity.
Although investors were assured that their funds would be deposited into two Swiss banks — Liechtensteinische Landesbank and the EFG Group — Abdul Razak said that RBTR’s custodian UBB (Malaysia) Trustee Bhd had paid the monies to British Virgin Islands company Locke Guaranty Trust (NZ) Ltd (LGT).
Pua said he would be writing a letter to the SC demanding updates on the investigation.
“It is crucial that the SC act with transparency and efficiency so that the integrity of Malaysia’s capital markets are protected,” he said.
“If the Bank Rakyat chairman can go off scot-free, investors will lose their confidence in Malaysian capital markets,” he added.