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MF Global customer claims near resolution: trustee

By Jessica Dye

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The trustee overseeing the liquidation of MF Global's failed futures brokerage said he expects the more than 28,000 customer claims that have been filed to be fully resolved within the next few months, according to a report filed in court on Tuesday.

However, further distributions to those customers will hinge largely on the outcome of pending claims against the failed brokerage by its parent company, MF Global Holdings Ltd , and its British affiliate, according to the progress report from trustee James Giddens.

"We are in a critical phase of negotiation and potential litigation right now," said Kent Jarrell, a spokesman for Giddens. "The result of this will determine when and how much in additional distributions we can send back to the former customers, and define the parameters and the size of the claims against the general estate."

In his report, Giddens said that of the more than 28,000 claims filed by the brokerage's commodities and securities customers, all but 200 have been fully resolved. Giddens said he expects the remaining claims to be resolved in the next few months.

A resolved claim means that the customer and trustee have reached an agreement regarding the amount to be paid.

According to the report, more than 27,000 claims were filed by commodities customers. Of those, 26,610 were allowed - meaning that they have been deemed valid by the trustee -representing a value of approximately $6.7 billion.

Of the more than 1,000 claims filed by securities customers, approximately 207 were allowed to proceed, with an estimated value of $276 million, the report stated.

So far, Giddens has returned approximately $4.7 billion to commodities customers hit by the brokerage's collapse.

MF Global's collapse exposed what Giddens estimated to be a $1.6 billion shortfall in customer funds. MF Global filed for bankruptcy in October 2011.

(Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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