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NPCSC poll results: not much optimism
The results of the Webb-site Opinion Poll on "NPCSC decision - pocket or not" show that the opponents of the NPCSC proposal don't want to get stuck with it, but they don't expect a veto will produce a better offer for 2022. Meanwhile the proponents recognise that the current offer is fake democracy, but they think it is worth taking in the hope of real democracy later. (10-Feb-2015)

Top stocks on the Southbound through train by value, 5-Feb-2015
Visit Webb-site Who's Who daily for updates. CCASS positions lag transactions by 2 days. (6-Feb-2015)

Beijing's 2020 vision for LegCo
In the past few days, it has become clear how Beijing plans to rig the 2020 LegCo elections to claim "universal suffrage" without losing control. This gives even less reason for legislators to approve Beijing's proposal for the 2017 Chief Executive election. (3-Feb-2015)

The architect and surveyor cartels
Webb-site finds written evidence of price-fixing and other anti-competitive practices at the HK Institute of Architects, HK Institute of Landscape Architects and HK Institute of Surveyors. But they do have 1 legislator and 30 seats in the CE's Election Committee, so when will C Y Leung activate the Competition Ordinance? (25-Jan-2015)

Yes Pope Frank, we can mock faiths
Pope Francis says its OK to punch someone who insults his mother, and we cannot make fun of faith. No, it's not. No insult justifies an assault, whether it's an insult against you, your mother or Muhammad, and whether it is a punch, a massacre or a state-sponsored flogging. Laws against blasphemy, insult and mockery have no place in an open society and incentivise intolerance of free speech. (17-Jan-2015)

Occupy school suspension order was invalid
We have investigated the Government's actions during the "Occupy" protests and find that it lacked the legal powers to order district-wide class suspensions, and was therefore acting outside the rule of law. (13-Jan-2015)

The bubbles in CNN
We warn investors of 3 bubbles amounting to HK$20.0bn (US$2.58bn) in the "Chung Nam Network" of listed companies, Heritage (0412), Rising Dev (1004) and Mascotte (0136) and look at a blatantly bad decision by the board of Hao Tian (0474), and an undisclosed Very Substantial Acquisition by that company. One of the bubbles is even a Russian doll "double bubble" - one owns the other. (8-Jan-2015)

Imperial Pacific bubble
We look at the HK$24.8bn (US$3.2bn) bubble in Imperial Pacific (1076) surrounding a Macau junket operation and a casino project in Saipan. (8-Jan-2015)

Petition filed with SEHK and Listing Committee
We close and submit the petition on 1-share-1-vote, and call on the Listing Committee to get back to improving the quality of HK's market rather than trying to degrade it, starting with 4 key issues. (2-Jan-2015)

Kuangchi the stratospheric stock
Our latest New Year bubble worth popping is Kuangchi (0439), HK's top-performing stock of 2014, valued at HK$32.03bn (US$4.13bn) or 16.1x NTAV. (2-Jan-2015)

SFC actions risk chilling critics
A New Year's Eve SFAT ruling reveals an SFC action against Moody's for its 2011 "red flags" report, following the recent launch of MMT action against a short-selling analyst. The SFC risks chilling publication of critical opinion and analysis - something we would hate to stop doing. We will be watching the cases carefully. (1-Jan-2015)

Where will it end?
The judge in the Hui-Kwok trial resorted to quoting Sir Humphrey Appleby in rejecting Bloomberg's request for a copy of fund flow charts presented to the jury. (31-Dec-2014)

Government changes Basic Law facts
In a Webb-site exclusive, we reveal that the HK Government has revised its own fact sheets on the Basic Law with politically-sensitive consequences. (18-Dec-2014)

Other news

SFC obtains court order to wind up China Metal Recycling (0773)
SFC, 26-Feb-2015
...and there goes HK$11.09bn of market capitalisation - it will be interesting to see how much of the last reported net assets of $7.10bn (30-Jun-2012) the liquidators are able to find. It's fairly safe to say that the sponsors, UBS and China Merchant Securities, are going to face an investigation by the SFC.

Public disciplinary hearing begins on Monday 2-Mar-2015 in ENM case
SFC, 24-Feb-2015
The proceedings are against Chow Yei Ching, Chairman of Chevalier Group, his son, Oscar Chow Vee Tsung, and Mr Joseph Leung Wing Kong. This is the first public disciplinary hearing under the Takeovers Code.

Mission Capital defines "new principal line of trading business". Listing Rule 14.04(1)(g)
Company announcement, 17-Feb-2015
MC is trying to exploit a loophole in the Listing Rules to treat property transactions as part of its trading business, and therefore of a "revenue nature" and exempt from disclosure and approvals under LR 14.04(1)(g). Four minutes after this, it "voluntarily" announced the acquisition of a BVI company which owns a property, calling it a "trading asset".

Qualipak (1332) sells 7/F, China United Centre, to Mission Capital (1141). MC announcement
Company announcement, 16-Feb-2015
Another transaction in the "Chung Nam Network". Of the HK$90m price, $79.9m is satisfied with 850m new shares in Mission Capital, or 11.70% as enlarged. MC at last disclosure is 9.19% owned by HEC Capital, 9.25% owned by Freeman Corp (both being network hubs) and 29.68% by Paul Suen Cho Hung. The transfer of the BVI property owner avoids $7.65m of double stamp duty.

The right to remember: Oregon case study
Willamette Week, 15-Feb-2015
This article about the fiancee of Oregon's Governor, who resigned last week, revealed that before running for election to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2002, she had been in a sham green-card marriage with an Ethiopian, filing for divorce the year before the election. The trail of records that led to this article is the sort of thing that would-be EU politicians can now get removed from search engines under the European Court of Justice's "right to be forgotten".

Two months’ jail for bribing driving examiner
ICAC, 13-Feb-2015
Fast work by the ICAC - Leung Kin Ming went for his driving test on Wednesday and was jailed in time for dinner on Friday.




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Today's birthdays, 2 March
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Capell, John Thomas 246
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Lau, Stephen Ka Men 71
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