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Articles: Company & securities law

HKIDs and Government secrecy
Webb-site calls on Government to abandon plans to restrict access to HKIDs, and instead to promote their use as unique identifiers of individuals and eliminate their misuse as authenticators. A media exemption would imply media controls. We launch an index of HKIDs which are already on the web. The Companies Registry and Land Registry should tear down the pay-wall and provide open online access to all documents. (12-Feb-2013)
HK proposes law making it harder to identify directors.  Your ID number is not a password
Bloomberg, 8-Jan-2013
See our article of 8-Nov-2010 for comments from us, and the Law Society, on why the Government should not be obfuscating ID numbers.
Govt proposes to abolish headcount and put 10% objection rule into law for privatisations
HK Government, 29-May-2012
Success! This is what Webb-site proposed in our submission to LegCo on 12-Mar-2012. Now the Government and SFC have come around to this position, having earlier proposed to keep the headcount rule. We can now call off our "Project Decapitate", assuming the law is passed.
Decapitate the headcount
We make the case for abolition of the archaic and anarchic headcount rule in Schemes of Arrangement, which was brought into focus when we reported evidence of a vote-rigging scheme in the proposed PCCW privatisation in 2009. For once, the tycoons agree with us, but the Government seems afraid to take the lead. (12-Mar-2012)
Hong Kong gives nod to Hutt River
West Australian, 28-Jan-2012
Some like it Hutt, but others beg to differ
Sydney Morning Herald, 27-Jan-2012
HK recognises Principality of Hutt River
The HK Companies Registry seems prepared to register overseas companies incorporated in an Australian farm not recognised by the UN or any of its members. (21-Jan-2012)
Mimi Wong Kar Gee v Applied Development (0519) and her ex-husband
HK Court of First Instance, 30-Aug-2011
Ms Wong alleges that company funds were used to decorate the home of Mr Hung's alleged mistress and to employ her for a non-job. As a shareholder, she seeks access to company documents to investigate this, in the first case to be brought under s152FA of the Companies Ordinance since it came into force on 15-Jul-2005. The judge's liberal interpretation of this section provides encouragement to future activism, although he highlights a flaw in the law - it does not extend to documents of subsidiaries unless the parent has copies already.
Retail investor given community services order for false trading.  Manipulation mania
SFC, 30-Dec-2010
Another misguided prosecution of what others would call algorithmic trading. Nobody had to buy the warrants at the price Mr Chiu offered, or sell them at the price he bid, and all his bids and offers were binding. There's nothing false about it. For more, see our article "Manipulation Mania" at the second link.
Your ID number is not a password
There is a common misconception that HK identity card numbers are secrets, a misconception that Government is promoting by its policy actions, putting us on the road to increased abuse of the HKID and higher economic losses from fraud. To prevent this, the register of ID numbers and names should be published, after a transition to allow commercial abusers to stop abusing the ID for authentication. This article also looks at the unfulfilled potential of the Smart ID Card, including biometric authentication and electronic money. (8-Nov-2010)
Manipulation mania
What are markets really for? Does the law on market manipulation, and its enforcement, create unreasonable expectations from investors about the information in market prices, volumes and order queues? We say it does. It is time for the Government and SFC to review their approach and reset public expectations. We also look at shill bidding in auctions. (12-Jul-2010)
Multiple statutory derivative actions
David Webb responds to the Legislative Council's invitation for comments on proposed amendments to the statutory derivative actions regime. In its current form it is unlikely to be useful to public shareowners of listed companies, but we suggest how to improve it. We also call on the Administration and Legislators to get behind class actions, litigation finance and contingent legal fees. Justice is the friend of fair societies, and litigation is the path to it. (18-Apr-2010)
Companies Bill 2002
Hong Kong is proposing some changes to the Companies Ordinance. Webb-site.com editor David Webb will be presenting a submission to the Legislative Council Bills Committee today, and you can read his submission online. We also look back at the glacial pace of reform since 1973. (15-Oct-2002)

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