8th November 2012
As many readers know, Webb-site includes a tool for analysing the custody
holdings of shares in the Central Clearing and Automated Settlement System (CCASS),
in which shares must be held to trade on the HK bourse. You can get the holdings
in one stock on a given day
directly from CCASS, but the
Webb-site CCASS Analysis
system provides much more functionality - including the ability to look at
the holdings on any given day of a CCASS Participant - a bank, broker, or even
an Investor Participant if they have consented to be named by CCASS.
Digging around in our own system yesterday, we noticed a Broker Participant
called Corrington Securities & Investment
Limited (Corrington). This firm has a very low profile. It
has only 3 SFC licensed staff,
including the minimum 2 Responsible Officers (ROs). Its office
is in Room 2301, Wheelock House, the headquarters of
Wheelock & Co Ltd (Wheelock,
0020), and its complaints officer has an e-mail address at wiclimited.com, a
domain which is registered to Wharf Limited, a subsidiary of Wheelock.
Corrington has no web site. When a Webb-site representative phoned to open a
brokerage account, we were told that they do not deal with "outsiders".
The latest annual return of Corrington at the Companies Registry shows that
it was 50% owned by each of two BVI companies, Andrea Limited (Andrea)
and Handale Limited. Andrea was mentioned as a nominee shareholder in a 2003
privatisation document for a subsidiary of Wheelock.
All of this points to Corrington being an in-house broker for Wheelock group
and its 60% controlling shareholders, Chairman
Peter Woo Kwong-ching (Mr Woo) and his wife
Bessie Woo Pao Pui-yung. The couple
owns about 11% of Wheelock through BVI companies, and the rest is held by a
trust. She is one of the four children, all daughters, of the late shipping and
property tycoon Pao Yue Kong, who
established the trust. A very organised chap, he named his daughters A, B, C and
D - Anna, Bessie, Cissy and Doreen, in order of production.
click here to see the current CCASS holdings of Corrington,
as of 6-Nov-2012,
ranked by value, and you'll be in for a few surprises. The firm's largest
holding is 2.06% of fellow developer Sun
Hung Kai Properties Ltd (0016), valued at HK$5.96bn. Click the
history link alongside
the holding to see that this has increased from 0.64% at the end of 2011. We
don't know whether this stake is held for Wheelock group or for the family.
There are also unsurprising holdings in group companies Wheelock, its 51%
subsidiary The Wharf (Holdings) Ltd (Wharf,
0004), Wharf's 71.3% subsidiary Harbour
Centre Development Ltd (Harbour Centre, 0051) and Wharf's
73.6% subsidiary i-Cable Communications
Ltd (1097). There is also part of the family trust's 72.9% holding in
Joyce Boutique Holdings Ltd (0647).
Increases in Corrington's holding in
Wheelock match directors' dealing disclosures by Mr Woo.
Third on the list is Sino-Ocean
Land Holdings Ltd (3377), a 5.84% stake worth HK$1.75bn. This is probably
part of the position held by Wharf, which
went through the 5% disclosure threshold on 23-Aug-2011. Next comes a 0.64%
stake in fashion group Prada S.P.A.
worth HK$1.05bn, built
up in the market since 9-Aug-2011. That's interesting because the Woo family
also has about a
6% stake in Salvatore Ferragamo Italia Spa, down from an
8% stake before its Milan IPO.
Then there's a 1.17% stake in Longfor
Properties Co Ltd (0960) worth HK$899m. That might be part of Peter Woo's
personal stake, which on 12-Sep-2012
went through the 5% disclosure threshold. Corrington has held more of it in
the past - up to 2.99% on 12-Oct-2011. As it bought the stake, it gradually
moved it out to BNP Paribas -
20m on 7-Jan-2011,
30m on 13-Oct-2011
and so on. BNP Paribas
position to BNP Paribas Wealth Management (BNPWM) on
13-Dec-2011, and Corrington
moved another 50m
shares to BNPWM on 28-Jun-2012. Corrington also
moved 10m shares
to the custody of Standard Chartered Bank (HK) Ltd on 10-Sep-2012.
We note that Mignonne Cheng Dao
appointed as an INED of Wheelock on 1-Jul-2012, but was
redesignated as a non-independent NED on 27-Jul-2012 when it was noted that
she is employed by BNPWM (in fact
she is Chairman and CEO of BNPWM for Asia Pacific), which "may provide
banking services to the Group or its connected persons".
Apart from BNPWM, the group also appears to use HSBC Private Bank
(Suisse) SA (HSBCS); we see that on 30-May-2011 a block of
4.68% of Harbour Centre
moved from Corrington and was split almost evenly between BNPWM and HSBCS.
We see the same pattern on 11-Jan-2011 when a block of shares in insurer AIA
Group Ltd (AIA, 1299)
Corrington to the two banks. Prior to that Corrington held 0.65% of AIA, then
worth about HK$1.76bn. This is consistent with a
media report that Mr Woo invested US$200m in the IPO of AIA, which listed
on 29-Oct-2010. These movements suggest that what you see in Corrington is only
a small portion of the family office, as they move holdings out to the private
banks. Buying through Corrington just eliminates brokerage fees.
In 7th place is a HK$430m shareholding (0.16%) of
Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd (0001).
This appears to be a minor trading position which was most recently
at zero on 15-oct-2012.
Corrington has also had a
fluctuating position in Cheung Kong's 49.97% associate
Hutchison Whampoa Ltd (0013), up to
0.41% or HK$1.38bn on 26-Nov-2010 but currently zero.
So there you have a little peek into the dealings of the Woo family and
Wheelock group, courtesy of the Webb-site CCASS Analysis System.
© Webb-site.com, 2012