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11/23/2008

Minibonds and High Notes in simplified terms

ST correspondent Lorna Tan did a simplified version of a summary note that is easy to understand to the investors. She used a copy of the DBS High Notes 5 prospectus and gave her own inputs which I find very comprehensive, at least to a layperson like me. The key features of her take are: 1. It explains that the investor's money will be used to buy a basket of securities. This is then used as a collateral for a bet. 2. The bet is on 7 selected financial institution and one country, that should any one of them got into financial trouble and becomes 'bankrupt', the investor will lose all his investment. 3. The 7 entities have nothing to do with the money invested. 4. The product is thus not suitable for people who cannot afford to lose their principal sum and who need the money over the next 5 1/2 years. I would like to make a few amendments to her take. 1. Change the title of the Notes to Toto High Notes 7 2. Allow the bettor to choose 7 entities from a list provided 3. Allow the bettor to pick 1 country from a list of countries 4. The product should be sold at Toto booths 5. Financial institutions should not be allowed to indulge in such gaming products. From the nature of the products it looks to me more like betting than a financial product. And it is much easier to run such a betting scheme than the S League. So much cheaper.

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