Regulator: French funds' Madoff exposure euro500M

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The exposure of French investment funds to Bernard Madoff's alleged $50 billion investment fraud amounts to around euro500 million ($731 million), France's market regulator reportedly said in an interview with financial daily Les Echos.

Gerard Rameix, secretary-general of the Autorite des Marches Financiers, or AMF, sought to quell the fears of ordinary savers, saying they accounted for less than 10 percent of that sum, the newspaper reported.

"This figure is not the result of an exhaustive analysis, but it gives what I think is an accurate picture of the situation. The whole question is how much the loss rate will be," Rameix said, according to an advance copy of the interview due to be published on Friday.

"As we had previously announced, in more than 90 percent of cases, the total exposure we have tallied since the beginning of the week concerns funds which are not destined for the general public," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

The AMF has not identified any large banking network that might have offered this type of product to its clients, Rameix said.

He said the Madoff scandal would cost the French financial system at least euro1.5 billion ($2.2 billion), although he added that some of this could be recovered through lawsuits at a later stage.

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