SINGAPORE: Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council said while it is looking at safer options for investing, it will also take into account what residents prefer.
The town council had invested S$4 million in financial products linked to the now bankrupt US investment bank, Lehman Brothers. It said around half of the amount has not been written off.
Speaking on the sidelines of a community event on Sunday, Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council chairman, Ahmad Magad, said the council has been communicating with some residents who have asked about the investments. And going forward, it will listen to what residents prefer.
Dr Ahmad said: “If they feel that the way forward is best for us to just park our funds in fixed deposits – that’s what we’ll do. But bear in mind that FDs will only give you minimal returns. At times, it doesn’t even cover inflation.”
He added that banks have informed the town council that as of end of October, its S$4 million investment still has a residual value of S$2.1 million. But he said he is not sure if the S$2.1 million can be recovered.
“There is still residual value in our minibond investments. As of October 31, our banks have written to us indicating that the S$4 million that we have invested still has a residual value of S$2.1 million. So it’s not like it’s been completely written off,” said Dr Ahmad.
Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also one of the MPs for Pasir Ris-Punggol, said the town council had invested in the long-term interests of residents.
“It’s quite unfortunate that this investment has turned bad, but we hope that over the long term, we’ll still be able to get a good return so that the sinking funds that we have will be able to do all the long-term maintenance that is necessary for the residents and we’re quite confident of that,” said Mr Teo.
Pasir Ris-Punggol is one of eight town councils which had invested a total of S$16 million in troubled structured products.