News

HKICPA fines Anthony Kam Hau Choi and his firm HK$25k each
HKICPA, 20-Aug-2018
This is a follow-on action from the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's decision to ban them for 5 years over the audits of Sino Agro Food, Inc..
How Britain’s post-war debt turned a small US outpost in Hong Kong into a staging area for its cold war operations in Asia
South China Morning Post, 18-Aug-2018
A follow-up to the Webb-site revelations of the USA's longest land lease in China.
Duo guilty of offering HK$600k bribes over small house projects
ICAC, 16-Aug-2018
For bribing the unnamed Village Resident Representative of Lai Chi Shan Village, Tai Po, to withdraw an objection to a house being developed and not to object to 9 more houses.
Land deal for US consulate site in Hong Kong was proposed just six months before city was handed back to China in 1997
South China Morning Post, 11-Aug-2018
A follow-up to the Webb-site revelations of the USA's longest land lease in China.
MMT finds ex-CEO of SuperRobotics (8176) and 2 others culpable of market manipulation
Market Misconduct Tribunal, 7-Aug-2018
That was 3 name changes ago, in 2009. None of the 3 actively defended themselves, 1 sending a lawyer's letter from Taiwan and another claiming she was too depressed to instruct a lawyer, a claim which the MMT rejected. We wait to see what sanctions will be determined. The report covers the funds flow in detail, involving concerted trading between 2 groups of accounts which the MMT finds were funded and coordinated by Samantha Keung.
Revealed: the USA has the longest land lease in China
Webb-site.com, 6-Aug-2018
Breaking through false search results at the HK Land Registry, Webb-site finds that the USA in 1960 was granted a unique option to purchase the freehold of its HK Consulate site. In 1999, Tung Chee Hwa's government agreed to convert this to a 999-year lease and remove the restriction on sale for only HK$44m, granting the USA a potential windfall and the longest leasehold land in China.
HKICPA bans Parker Seto Man Fai for another year over Sage (8082) audits
HKICPA, 6-Aug-2018
That's on top of a previous 5 year-ban. The committee describes him as "seriously incompetent" and lacking a basic understanding of fundamental concepts such as "consideration" and "fair value".
SJ v Cheng Ka Yee & othersSection 161
HK Court of First Instance, 6-Aug-2018
Kudos to Deputy Judge Pang Chung Ping, who calls out the Government for its abuse of section 161 of the Crimes Ordinance, "obtaining access to a computer" with dishonest intent. He rules that something which is not a crime without the use of a computer cannot be a crime just because a computer is used, and that "obtaining access" to someone else's computer is not the same as "using" your own computer, whether it is a smartphone or any other type of computer. We wait to see whether the Government will take this to the higher courts, but in our view, the game is over.
China Investment Dev (0204): CEO Zhang Xuming suspended: suspected irregularities
Company announcement, 30-Jul-2018
Webb-site called this stock a bubble on 24-Sep-2015. It has lost 86.6% since then.
Ex-AXA financial consultant and an insurance broker charged with commissions fraud
ICAC, 30-Jul-2018
This is the second time around for insurance broker Li Ting Yuen, a former technical representative of CTHK Asset Management Ltd who was convicted in 2016 and jailed for 8 months on a separate charge. Fornia Chan Yin Fei is currently SFC-licensed at Sun Hung Kai Investment Services Ltd.
8 months' jail for bribing immigration officer
ICAC, 27-Jul-2018
The talented or professional Mr Wu Changwen will be staying in HK a bit longer than he expected.
Duo charged with bribery and illegal use of smartphones to obtain access to confidential information of HKDSE
ICAC, 25-Jul-2018
Modern Education is a 100% subsidiary of HK Education (1082) which featured in our "Enigma Network" last year. This is the second case involving Modern Education and alleged exam cheating, following charges filed against others on 4-Jun-2018.
Broker acquitted again of illegal short selling
SFC, 25-Jul-2018
Mr Wong Hung was acquitted 4 years ago by a different magistrate, David Chum Yau Fong. The SFC appealed to the Court of First Instance, which ordered a retrial, stating that "no reasonable magistrate…would have reached the same conclusion". This time, Magistrate Li Chi Ho reached the same conclusion.

Our stories

Revealed: the USA has the longest land lease in China
Breaking through false search results at the HK Land Registry, Webb-site finds that the USA in 1960 was granted a unique option to purchase the freehold of its HK Consulate site. In 1999, Tung Chee Hwa's government agreed to convert this to a 999-year lease and remove the restriction on sale for only HK$44m, granting the USA a potential windfall and the longest leasehold land in China. (6-Aug-2018)
HK Government invasion of the housing market
HK Chief Executive Carrie Lam has ended her first year with a new set of interventions, building on the crumbling foundations of her predecessors. It's time for a major policy rethink. A government's role is to ensure that people have a home, not that they own one. And the government doesn't need to own homes either. (2-Jul-2018)
Short positions in Samsonite (1910)
The latest aggregate short positions show a sharp increase of 16.62m shares in the week to 18-May followed by a decrease of 11.91m shares in the week to 25-May. The critical report by Soren Aandahl's Blue Orca Capital was published on 24-May. (1-Jun-2018)
Why HK has no retail bond market
The HK Government's Pilot Bond Grant Scheme is needless corporate welfare and deflects from the real problem: by protecting bank profits from competition for funding and effectively excluding retail investors, the Government and HKMA are preventing a liquid, exchange-traded bond market from emerging. We explain what they need to do instead. (13-May-2018)
Justice is blind, except for haircuts
The Court of Appeal rules that a prison order requiring men to have short hair and allowing women to choose is not discriminatory, because of societal norms for haircuts. We find substantial flaws in this reasoning. We also find that the UK rule which HK inherited was amended by 1999 to remove the discrimination, something that Long Hair's lawyers appear to have overlooked. (1-May-2018)
Carrie Lam's latest assault on free markets
The Government is threatening to broaden rather than repeal a restriction on the resale of event tickets in HK, a restriction which is probably unconstitutional anyway. This runs against the interests of event organisers and performers who benefit from the secondary market as we explain. It also runs against the broader public interest in consumer choice. Let the market function, and repeal section 6 of the POPE Ordinance. What next - a restriction on reselling wine or IPO shares for a profit? (17-Apr-2018)
Exclusive: HK Government to launch "Christian Bonds"
Webb-site has learned of secret plans to turn Hong Kong into a Christian Finance hub, and of course, they are launching it on Easter Sunday. (1-Apr-2018)
Solving the MPF-LSP offset problem, again
The HK Government fails to identify the obvious solution and instead pursues a doomed approach of perpetuating MPF plus LSP. That will either result in taxpayers fully funding a windfall to existing employees or the Government losing a judicial review for overriding the implied terms of existing employment contracts and violating employers' legitimate expectation of not having to pay twice. (30-Mar-2018)
Respect, the national anthem and the Basic Law
By imposing the National Anthem Law on HK, the CPG seeks to command rather than earn respect. It will trigger another constitutional test of the freedoms promised in the Basic Law as soon as the first international HK soccer match after the law is passed kicks off. We also find a 1941 recording, 8 years before the song became an anthem, including a translation that Beijing would not regard as politically correct today. March on! (25-Mar-2018)
Facebook, Big Brother and China
The political and media furore over external use of Facebook data misses the point. Facebook, Google and other internet giants know far more about their users than any app developer ever will. Facebook offers its own political ad-targeting service based on its analysis of users' data, just part of its over US$40bn of annual monetisation of users through advertising. It's a price that users appear willing to pay for the services, but in authoritarian states like China, with it's pending "Social Credit System" that poses a far bigger threat to society. (23-Mar-2018)
Kingston (1031): things you should know
Even after today's plunge, Kingston is trading at 13.2x net tangible assets of $0.508 per share, 70.8x trailing earnings, and is heavily dependent on low-cost loans from its majority shareholder. Don't bet on that continuing. We also look at the extent of its margin lending to controlling shareholders of large numbers of other listed companies. (30-Jan-2018)
Your stocks, your way
We're launching new features for registered users. Build your own stock list, use a dashboard to find information on the stocks, and see CCASS movements, total returns and directors' dealings for your stocks in one page. And yes, it's all free! We also encourage users to give something back to the community by anonymously contributing your Governance Ratings of companies and Trust Ratings of people. (24-Jan-2018)
Total returns on the worst 5 HSI stocks you could've bought on 30-Oct-2007
With the HSI possibly soon to close at a daily record nominal high (ex-dividends), here's a look at the total return (including reinvestment of dividends) on the worst 5 then-index members you could have bought on 30-Oct-2007, the previous daily high. Esprit (0330) was the market darling of its time - rather like Tencent (0700) is today. Esprit has since returned -95.48% up to 12-Jan-2018. (15-Jan-2018)
The wrong way to pay civil servants
A new ICAC case reminds us that the Government and public sector get bad value for taxpayers and lose good people by paying time-limited benefits that are based on irrelevant factors rather than the value of their services. Scrap all the benefits schemes and pay people what they are worth. At the same time, remove the housing loophole from salaries tax, raise personal allowances and bring down the tax rate to compensate. (13-Jan-2018)

Other news

HKICPA fines Anthony Kam Hau Choi and his firm HK$25k each
HKICPA, 20-Aug-2018
This is a follow-on action from the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's decision to ban them for 5 years over the audits of Sino Agro Food, Inc..
How Britain’s post-war debt turned a small US outpost in Hong Kong into a staging area for its cold war operations in Asia
South China Morning Post, 18-Aug-2018
A follow-up to the Webb-site revelations of the USA's longest land lease in China.
Duo guilty of offering HK$600k bribes over small house projects
ICAC, 16-Aug-2018
For bribing the unnamed Village Resident Representative of Lai Chi Shan Village, Tai Po, to withdraw an objection to a house being developed and not to object to 9 more houses.
Land deal for US consulate site in Hong Kong was proposed just six months before city was handed back to China in 1997
South China Morning Post, 11-Aug-2018
A follow-up to the Webb-site revelations of the USA's longest land lease in China.
MMT finds ex-CEO of SuperRobotics (8176) and 2 others culpable of market manipulation
Market Misconduct Tribunal, 7-Aug-2018
That was 3 name changes ago, in 2009. None of the 3 actively defended themselves, 1 sending a lawyer's letter from Taiwan and another claiming she was too depressed to instruct a lawyer, a claim which the MMT rejected. We wait to see what sanctions will be determined. The report covers the funds flow in detail, involving concerted trading between 2 groups of accounts which the MMT finds were funded and coordinated by Samantha Keung.
HKICPA bans Parker Seto Man Fai for another year over Sage (8082) audits
HKICPA, 6-Aug-2018
That's on top of a previous 5 year-ban. The committee describes him as "seriously incompetent" and lacking a basic understanding of fundamental concepts such as "consideration" and "fair value".
SJ v Cheng Ka Yee & othersSection 161
HK Court of First Instance, 6-Aug-2018
Kudos to Deputy Judge Pang Chung Ping, who calls out the Government for its abuse of section 161 of the Crimes Ordinance, "obtaining access to a computer" with dishonest intent. He rules that something which is not a crime without the use of a computer cannot be a crime just because a computer is used, and that "obtaining access" to someone else's computer is not the same as "using" your own computer, whether it is a smartphone or any other type of computer. We wait to see whether the Government will take this to the higher courts, but in our view, the game is over.
Previously on Webb-site.com
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