The closed-end funds were reportedly invested heavily in municipal bonds issued either by the Puerto Rico government or Puerto Rico government entities. The funds were allegedly internally leveraged, and when the bonds owned by the funds experienced losses, the closed-end funds themselves also experienced heavy losses. Funds that were reportedly worth more than $8.00 a share at one point are now reportedly worth less than $4.00 a share.
Making the situation worse for some investors is that some brokers allegedly advised investors looking to withdraw money from their accounts for personal reasons, to borrow money from an account - or link a line of credit to an account - in which those funds were held, rather than selling their shares of UBS funds. In such a case, the investors may have lost even more money than if they had simply sold the shares in the first place.
Meanwhile, UBS has said it will buy back some shares of its Puerto Rico bond funds, but only those that are completely managed by UBS. According to Venture Capital Post (12/6/13), UBS will offer to buy back shares at either net-asset value or lower. The report notes that as of November 20, 2013, shares of the Puerto Rico Fixed Income Fund had a value of $3.65, less than half the $10 value a UBS prospectus showed in July 2003.
READ MORE UBS CLOSED END FUNDS LEGAL NEWS
In such cases, if the financial advisor made investment recommendations that were not suitable for the investor, or if he or she recommended too much money be invested in the Puerto Rico funds, the investor may be able to file a FINRA arbitration claim against the advisor.