NEW YORK Since the October 31 bankruptcy of brokerage MF Global, about 72 percent of frozen customer funds have been returned, according to a recent update.
MF Global kept an estimated $5.9 billion in U.S. customer segregated funds, according to James Giddens, the trustee overseeing MF Global's bankruptcy.
Giddens secured about $5.3 billion for transfer. Of that amount, he has paid out $3.83 billion to customers via three bulk transfers that took place in November and December, he said in a January presentation.
Here's a breakdown of the transfers:
FIRST BULK TRANSFER: 10,202 accounts totaling $1.52 billion
The first transfer of funds began on November 3, a day after a U.S. bankruptcy judge approved Giddens' request to transfer accounts to futures merchants.
The funds transferred included accounts containing open U.S. commodity contracts and a percentage of the associated collateral used for margining as of October 31.
Initially, the CME Group, the exchange which cleared most of MF Global's trading business, expected that client accounts would be transferred to one of six futures commission merchants (FCMs).
These included: ABN Amro Chicago Clearing, ADM Investor Services, Dorman Trading, INTL FCStone, R.J. O'Brien, and/or Rosenthal Collins Group.
Eventually, that group was broadened to include an additional five merchants: Macquarie Futures USA, Vision Financial Markets, Newedge USA, BNP Paribas and Penson Futures.
SECOND BULK TRANSFER: 15,148 accounts totaling $477 million
The second bulk transfer occurred in late November. The transfers involved accounts containing only cash or cash equivalents on the day MF Global filed for bankruptcy.
The same 11 futures merchants that participated in the first bulk transfer participated in the second transfer.
In addition, PFGBEST participated in this transfer and received its first accounts on November 23.
THIRD BULK TRANSFER: 27,905 accounts totaling $1.83 billion
The third bulk transfer occurred in December, after it was approved by the bankruptcy court on December 9.
The transfer included MF Global's former retail commodities customers with U.S. futures positions, Giddens said in a press release at the time.
ESTIMATED SEGREGATED FUND SHORTFALL: $1.2 BILLION
Throughout the bulk transfer process, Giddens has maintained that there is an "apparent significant shortfall" in MF Global's customer segregated funds.
Some of this money could be sitting in foreign depositories as well as in the United States.
(Reporting By Cezary Podkul; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)