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Goldman Sachs Wins Bid to Halt Singapore Investor’s Suit

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. unit won a bid to halt Singaporean wealth-management client Oei Hong Leong’s lawsuit over trading losses on the Brazilian real in favor of private arbitration.

The ruling was made in a closed hearing today at Singapore’s High Court. Oei’s lawyer Siraj Omar said he planned to appeal the decision. Edward Naylor, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for Goldman Sachs, declined to comment on the verdict.

Oei sued Goldman Sachs International in Singapore and the parent company in New York, alleging the bank misled him into trading real-yen options. He sought at least $31 million in damages in each lawsuit. The bank has rejected allegations that it acted improperly or cheated him, according to a letter it wrote to Oei in July and filed in court.

Oei said he relied on the bank’s advice that the real was a stable and liquid currency anchored to the U.S. dollar before betting in May the yen would fall against the Brazilian currency.

The real has fallen 12 percent since May 15 against the yen, the second-worst performer among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg, after the South African rand. The real has declined three straight years as widening budget deficits threaten to trigger Brazil’s first credit-rating downgrade since 2002.

Goldman Sachs plans to ask a U.S. judge to dismiss the lawsuit there in favor of arbitration or move it to Singapore, according to court papers filed in New York.

“I have not brought this claim because I have lost money in the trades,” Oei said in court papers filed in December. “I trusted and relied on Goldman Sachs and they abused and breached that trust.”

The case is Oei Hong Leong v Goldman Sachs International. S834/2013. Singapore High Court.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Tan in Singapore at atan17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net

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