Opes Prime clashed with ANZ over lending deal
Former Opes Prime director Julian Smith has said "no one in their right mind" would agree to changes proposed to its lending agreement by financier ANZ, a court has been told.
The comment was made at the trial of Mr Smith. Opes Prime, a securities lender and broker, which had more than 650 clients, collapsed in March 2008, owing creditors $631 million.
The ANZ head of lending services for corporate banking, Ben Steinberg, said Mr Smith had expressed doubt that anyone in the market would accept proposed changes to the way the bank determined who owed what to whom once a lending agreement ended.
The changes meant shares lodged by Opes with the bank would be valued at the price they could be sold for, rather than their last closing price.
Mr Steinberg told the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday he decided to respond to Mr Smith's "aggression" by telling him in a March 2008 meeting that ANZ had the option of no longer receiving stock from Opes.
"Mr Smith then indicated that he hadn't not agreed to anything, so there was a slight change in Mr Smith's attitude, and he again suggested he would take - or he suggested then that he would take our proposals, once we put them in writing, to ... Opes Prime for consideration," Mr Steinberg said.
The prosecution says as Opes Prime teetered on the brink of collapse, Mr Smith wrongly pledged assets in order to secure a loan from ANZ to Leveraged Capital, a company associated with Mr Smith and Opes CEO Lirim "Laurie" Emini.
The trial continues.
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