UBS Puerto Rico has suspended José "Whopper" Ramírez from employment as a result of complaints by clients who suffered severe losses in UBS Puerto Rico bonds and closed-end bond mutual funds. Mr. Ramirez, a once prominent broker handling multi-million dollar accounts for Puerto Rico's elite, is alleged to have been responsible for recommendations of all purpose loans to invest in UBS Puerto Rico's proprietary closed-end bond funds. The internal investigation by UBS, as well as Mr. Ramirez's suspension, came to light this week. The problems for UBS Puerto Rico and its closed-end bond mutual funds have just begun. UBS Puerto Rico is the island's market leader in closed-end funds, operating more than a dozen bond funds such as:
Tax-Free Puerto Rico Fund, Inc.
Tax-Free Puerto Rico Fund II, Inc.
Tax-Free Puerto Rico Target Maturity Fund, Inc.
Puerto Rico AAA Portfolio Target Maturity Fund, Inc.
Puerto Rico AAA Portfolio Bond Fund, Inc.
Puerto Rico AAA Portfolio Bond Fund II, Inc.
Puerto Rico GNMA & US Govmt. Target Maturity Fund, Inc.
P.R. Mortgage-Backed & US Govmt. Securities Fund, Inc.
Puerto Rico Fixed Income Fund, Inc.
Puerto Rico Fixed Income Fund II, Inc.
Puerto Rico Fixed Income Fund III, Inc.
Puerto Rico Fixed Income Fund IV, Inc.
Puerto Rico Fixed Income Fund V, Inc.
Puerto Rico Fixed Income Fund VI, Inc.
Substantial declines in investor portfolio values were aggravated by UBS Puerto Rico broker recommendations that investors borrow money through all purpose loans to buy more of the closed-end funds. The practice of using all purpose loans to purchase investments is a violation of UBS rules - all purpose loans can be used to buy goods but not to invest in securities. When the funds began to collapse due to a sudden rise in local interest rates, which caused a fall in bond prices, many customers who had purchased the funds with borrowed money were forced to liquidate and are now indebted to the firm.
The most important of investors' rights is the right to be informed! This Investors' Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. Please see our Instablog profile (left column) for ways to contact us and get answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.