Sucheta Dalal :ABN AMRO investors in Osian Art Fund still await first payments
Sucheta Dalal

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ABN AMRO investors in Osian Art Fund still await first payments  

February 9, 2010

Seven months after a poor exit in July 2009, not all investors in the Osian Art Fund have been paid their first instalment of redemption. Though the deadline for complete redemption has expired back in December 2009, a few investors are still clueless, and have not received any payment.

“I am still waiting for the first instalment of the amount. I have been following up with Osian officials on a daily basis, but have failed to get my payment,” said an investor on the condition of anonymity. The investor had invested around Rs 90 lakh in the art fund through four portfolios. The investment was made through ABN AMRO bank. According to the investor, as per the last communication received from an Osian official, the first payment was to be made by the end of January 2010. However, the investor has failed to receive any payment.

“I have not received the first payment despite following up with Osian on a daily basis. Each time I have been given a new date,” said Santosh Godbole, an investor who invested through ABN AMRO. As per the last communication from Osian, Mr Godbole was promised the first payment by 29 January 2010.

As per sources, only a handful of investors who invested through ABN AMRO have been given the first payment, while more than 100 investors await first payments.

As a reply to queries from Moneylife on one of our earlier stories on the bank, the official comment had stated, “In keeping with our philosophy of providing a range of investment options to our clients suitable to their risk appetite and personal goals, we present various funds across different asset classes. The Bank however weighs investment options extremely cautiously and puts in safeguards and processes in place to ensure that clients take an informed decision when choosing to invest in any fund. At every step, our Endeavour is to keep our clients briefed and updated on market related information and fund performance. In view of client confidentiality, we would not like to comment on Client and Fund portfolios. In case you have any specific queries regarding the Osian Art Fund, please contact the Osian Fund Management directly.”

Osian has been able to shell out a part payment of around 75% to 85% of the total amount to some of its investors. The company claimed that the payment was 90% of the invested capital. Though it started this process way back in December 2009, a number of investors still await the first payment. Those who have received the first payment are also apprehensive on whether they will receive the remaining amount. In one of the last notes sent by Osian to all its investors in December 2009, it claimed that the first instalments would be completed in the month of December itself.

According to sources, Osian officials claim that the payments have not been made as the company is unable to get payments for its artefacts and paintings, from various institutions and people with whom a contract was signed for the same. An email was sent to Neville Tuli, chief advisor, Osian Art Fund, to which no immediate reply has been received.

The Osian Art Fund was a 36-month close-ended scheme launched in July 2006. It made a quiet exit and at that time company officials claimed the returns to be around 5% per annum. As ambiguity on the final net asset value continues, the investor is clueless about what the exact total redemption amount would be. As of July 2006, the fund’s total corpus was Rs102.40 crore and it had 656 unit-holders across 39 cities.
— Amritha Pillay

-- Sucheta Dalal