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A fine kettle of fish -- Peregrin o
- Subject: A fine kettle of fish -- Peregrin o
- From: brelief@xxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 26 Apr 1997 03:01:00
Subject: A fine kettle of fish -- Peregrin out of Burma, may leave Vietnam
"Peregrine in January quit Burma after realising that a privatisation
programme was unlikely to emerge.... Burma had begun to contribute earnings
- but those were derived from fish and commodities trading, a far cry from
Peregrine's core business."
Peregrine Investments: Bank may leave Vietnam after arrest
WEDNESDAY APRIL 16 1997
By Louise Lucas in Hong Kong
Peregrine Investments Holdings, the pan-Asian banking group, is to review
its Vietnamese operations following the arrest of its top man in Ho Chi Minh
A decision is expected over the next few days and could result in the
closure of the Vietnam offices given the non-materialisation of securities
markets in the country, analysts say.
Mr Nguyen Trung Truc, an Australian-Vietnamese, was arrested on tax evasion
charges on Monday. Peregrine says it has been unable to contact either him
or the prosecutors for any more details. "We are in the dark," says Mr Alan
Mercer, group legal counsel.
Mr Truc's arrest comes two months after Peregrine's Vietnam business was
hit with a $59,000 fine for operating an unlicensed business from an
unregistered office - a fine which the company is appealing.
Prosecutors in Vietnam had been investigating Peregrine Capital Vietnam for
nine months prior to the fine order. The office, originally set up in
readiness for the opening of a securities market in Vietnam, was more
heavily involved in trading and distribution of cars and consumer products.
This area was Mr Truc's speciality, and while Mr Judd Kinne - who had
responsibility for Vietnam on Peregrine's executive committee - has taken
charge in Ho Chi Minh City, this business has tapered off.
"The distribution businesses that were run by Mr Truc have just been
ticking along. It's quite difficult to conduct business when much of your
books and records have been seized by the regulators," Mr Mercer said.
Problems in Vietnam come amid a slew of troubles in emerging parts of Asia.
Peregrine in January quit Burma after realising that a privatisation
programme was unlikely to emerge. Last year, the investment bank won damages
in a legal action against Ms Miriam Segal, former chairman of Peregrine
Burma had begun to contribute earnings - but those were derived from fish
and commodities trading, a far cry from Peregrine's core business.
Earlier this month troubles surfaced in Bangladesh when an arrest warrant
was issued for the head of its investment banking business there - one of 36
issued against local broker dealers in the wake of the country's stock
Mr Mercer conceded that Peregrine had been hasty in swooping on some of the
region's less developed markets. "That's certainly been borne out by
Vietnam," he said.