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Singapore tycoon sues Citi over $684 mln losses

Singapore-based businessman Oei Hong Leong has sued Citigroup's private bank for negligence and misrepresentation after he lost S$1 billion ($684 million) on foreign exchange and bond trades last year, the Straits Times reported.

Oei's lawsuit said Citi, with which he has a 30-year relationship, repeatedly gave him an inaccurate picture of his trading exposure, which led him to take on more positions than he would have taken otherwise, the newspaper said, citing court documents. It said Oei declined to comment about the court case.

A spokesman from Citi told Reuters in an email: “We believe that the claim is without merit and we fully intend to defend our position vigorously.” It declined to comment further on the matter.

There was no immediate comment available from Oei's office.

Oei was ranked Singapore's 29th richest person by Forbes last year with a net worth of $210 million. Forbes calculated Oei's wealth based on his stakes in publicly traded companies and in private company filings.

According to Straits Times, Oei claimed he felt compelled to close his positions at an extremely volatile time in October last year, taking huge losses, as he felt he had no choice after discovering the full extent of his exposure.

Some angry Asian private banking clients have filed lawsuits after losing money on complex financial products battered in a global market meltdown last year, forcing the industry into damage control. (Reuters)