Former Committee on Takeovers and Mergers chairman Ermanno Pascutto told a jury yesterday he was 'surprised' he had not been informed about loans of as much as $1 billion owed to Standard Chartered Bank by the Bond Group in 1990. He said the loans would have been of interest to the committee at the time, in the lead up to the takeover of Bond Corp International by Tomson Pacific. 'I think the takeovers committee would have considered that to be material information,' Mr Pascutto told the jury. 'I don't know whether it is significant in terms of the total capital of the Standard Chartered Bank, but it would have been material to the takeovers committee to know that.' The court has heard that former chief executive of Standard Chartered Asia, Christopher Wigan, sent a letter to Mr Pascutto in May 1990 indicating that the group was not significantly exposed to Bond. Yesterday, Mr Pascutto was shown documents which appeared to show that at the time Standard Chartered was exposed to the Bond Group to the tune of either $500 million or more than $1 billion. Defence barrister Graham Harris said: 'It would appear from the internal documents that it was thought by the Standard Chartered people that this was irrelevant and not material to matters that you were considering as the takeovers committee.' Mr Harris asked whether Mr Pascutto shared the view that the loans were not meaningful. 'I think I have already indicated that I thought it would have been material information for the committee, particularly since we had specifically raised that question,' Mr Pascutto said. Mr Harris asked: 'Are you surprised you were not told?' Mr Pascutto replied: 'Yes.' He told the court the takeovers committee probably would have been asked to consider the impact of the information if it had been given access to the figures. Mr Wigan had earlier been asked about the apparent failure to disclose. He said there had been no intention to conceal the information and there must be an explanation. On trial are stockbroker Arthur Lai Cheuk-kwan, 44, his brother Raymond Lai Chik-fan, 48, and Peter Mou Chi-luen, 45, who were directors of ChinTung Holdings, David Tong Cun-lin, 48, former executive chairman of Tomson Pacific and Jade Hsu Jye, 40, a former manager at Tomson Pacific. They all deny conspiring to defraud the Securities and Futures Commission and the takeovers committee in 1990 and 1991. All except Hsu also deny charges relating to the alleged acceptance of bribes by Arthur Lai. The Court of First Instance trial continues.