Asia business report bbc singapore staff

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Asia business report bbc singapore staff

Leeson was released in after four-years in a Singapore prison Leeson had already been racking up huge losses for over a year, but by the morning of 23 February the pressure had reached boiling point.

BBC NEWS | Business | Leeson's legacy lives on in Singapore

In a final effort to recover the losses, the Barings trader had bet on the Nikkei index of leading Japanese shares to rise. But his gamble didn't pay off. The Japanese stock market kept falling, leading to even bigger losses. As Leeson writes in his autobiography Rogue Trader, "It was time to run".

Luxury resort On that Thursday afternoon inLeeson left the office and took the next available flight to Kuala Lumpur with his wife Lisa, where they checked into the five-star Regent Hotel.

Key dates January: Leeson is already losing serious money Mid-February: Leeson makes increasingly risky deals to cover mounting losses 23 Feb: Leeson runs away and the bank's senior executives are warned about the extent of the losses 24 Feb: Barings tells the Bank of England that it is in trouble 26 Feb: The search for Leeson ends and he is detained at Frankfurt airport after a week on the run 5 March: Leeson is sentenced At the same time, on the other side of the world, senior Barings executives in London were starting to discover the extent of the losses.

The story broke in the early editions of the British Sunday papers that the country's oldest merchant bank was on the brink of collapse and the epic search to find the missing trader was on. Soon, rumours emerged that Leeson had sped across the causeway to Malaysia in his Porsche, or that he had escaped on a private yacht.

asia business report bbc singapore staff

In fact, they were holed up in a Malaysian luxury resort. After seeing news of Barings' collapse on the front page of a newspaper in a local shop a few days later, they plotted their escape back to Britain in an attempt to evade the Singaporean authorities.

But on 2 March, Leeson was arrested at Frankfurt airport and the international manhunt for the missing trader ended. Leeson was eventually extradited to Singapore where he was sentenced to six years in Changi Prison.

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Behind bars But despite Leeson being convicted of fraud, some of his colleagues felt that he was not the only one at fault. Leeson was banned from The Singapore Cricket Club "Nick was the star trader at Barings because his trades contributed a huge amount of money.

asia business report bbc singapore staff

Another incident involved an alcohol-fuelled mooning escapade in a Singapore bar which earned him a night behind bars. ING has ditched the Barings name It's a jazz bar on the quayside, just a stones' throw from the financial district, and still a regular haunt for city traders.

They had been operating in a bull market for the past decade and everyone had been raking in a fortune. And then the house of cards started coming down. Few in Singapore want to be associated with Leeson.

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Former acquaintances deny knowing him, booksellers deliberately fail to display his autobiography and none of the major video and DVD stores stock the film Rogue Trader, starring Ewan McGregor and Anna Friel.

Still, Leeson's name lives on down at Harry's bar, where this week they'll be doing a roaring trade in the king of shots, the Bank Breaker, a drink specially created to commemorate the infamous trader. A mixture of Midori, whisky and a double measure of soda water, it's sweet and goes down smoothly, but aptly has a deceptive kick that takes you by surprise.

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In July, staff at Jurong Bird Park noticed an 8cm gash on the year.

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