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Monday Jun 27, 2011

Gloomy outlook for investors in 'shambolic' Sharemax

Thousands of people who have invested in an embattled property syndications company will have to wait with bated breath to see how much of their hard-earned money they will get back.

Negotiations are in progress to work out a deal for the company's investors, some of whom have been left in the lurch financially.

It is understood that about 40 000 shareholders, most of them pensioners, invested in Sharemax's property syndication schemes.

Despite instructions by the Reserve Bank that it pay out its investors, Sharemax does not have the funds to do so.

This is according to economist Dawie Roodt, who is also an independent director of the new Sharemax board.

Roodt said he and other directors had been brought in to help facilitate the paying out of investors. He described the company as "a complete mess".

They did not plan to liquidate the company because doing so would only leave investors worse off.

They had kept the company afloat and were now working on a deal for the investors.

Among the investors are pensioners Tony and Jacqueline Bekker, who are in their 70s and battling to keep up with their mounting bills.

They fear that by the time they have been given back the R490 000 they invested in Sharemax's syndicate the Zambezi Retail Park, they "will be dead".

According to Roodt, Sharemax has proposed that it repay investors in instalments over 10 years, and 30 percent interest over the following five years.

"That's what's on the table at the moment, but we're negotiating to see if we can get something better for investors," said Roodt.

"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but investors need to know they must prepare themselves for a loss in income and possibly a loss of capital."

The Bekkers, however, are adamant that they will reject the proposal in its current form.

"While the grass is growing, the horse is dying," said Tony Bekker. "We can't wait 10 years for our money.We need it now."

Cape Times

    
 

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