News

Hopewell and the lemon discount
Webb-site.com, 22-Mar-2019
What does the ability to take a company private for 57 cents on the dollar say about the future of HK's public market? Failure to reform HK's laws and regulations to improve the corporate governance framwork will see the market shrink over time as good companies stay away and controllers take existing companies private.
Inside the Kingdee bubble
Webb-site.com, 18-Mar-2019
It appears to be a Shenzhen success story, conquering the World with the "Chinese management model", but we burn through the techno-fog of the disclosures and dig deep inside the accounts. You won't like what you see.
Concentration warning in Reach New (8471)
SFC, 15-Mar-2019
The top 20 holders have 93.74%. The stock listed on 21-Jul-2017 and closed today at $1.51 or 5.03x its IPO price.
Concentration warning in Fullwealth (1034)
SFC, 15-Mar-2019
The top 20 holders have 95.6%. The stock was listed on 30-Oct-2018 and closed today at $1.42, or 4.44x its IPO price.
SFC fines Merrill Lynch HK$128m for sponsor failures
SFC, 14-Mar-2019
On the Tianhe Chemicals (1619) IPO in 2014. Notably no human at ML is named as responsible for the failings - perhaps that will come later. ML scores a lower fine than fellow sponsor Morgan Stanley at HK$224m for the same deal. UBS scored HK$375m, but that was for a hatrick of listing applications.
SFC fines Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd HK$224m for sponsor failures
SFC, 14-Mar-2019
The firm jointly sponsored Tianhe Chemicals (1619) in 2014, with UBS and Merrill Lynch. Notably this announcement doesn't mention any human at MS as being responsible - perhaps that will follow later.
SFC fines Standard Chartered Secs HK$59.7m for sponsor failures
SFC, 14-Mar-2019
For the 2009 IPO of China Forestry (now delisted), which it jointly sponsored with UBS. Together they win our "can't see the wood OR the trees" award for epic due diligence. Notably no human at SCS is named as responsible.
SFC fines UBS HK$375m and suspends its sponsor licence for 1 year
SFC, 14-Mar-2019
Over the IPOs of China Forestry in 2009 (now delisted), Tianhe Chemicals (1619) in 2014 and a third as-yet unnamed listing application.
Concentration warning in KNT (1025)
SFC, 13-Mar-2019
The top 20 holders have 93% of the stock, which has more than tripled in price since its 28-Feb listing.
Concentration warning in Grand Investment (1160)
SFC, 8-Mar-2019
A rare concentration warning in a Chapter 21 (closed-end investment fund) company. 20 holders have 97.96% and it trades at about 21x NAV.
SFC directs suspension of China DYF (0612)
SEHK, 8-Mar-2019
This follows a complaint by Webb-site to the SFC on 18-Feb-2019 and a Bloomberg article on 22-Feb-2019. This is a "Chapter 21" closed-end investment fund, trading at about 86x NAV. Such companies are exempt from the public float requirement of the Listing Rules, and the SFC has not issued any concentration warning on this stock. Consequently it has been admitted into various HSI and MSCI indices, exacerbating the bubble. It was due to enter the HSI Large and Mid-Cap Index at the close of business today.
HKICPA permanently removes Deborah Annells, convicted thief and fraudster
HKICPA, 5-Mar-2019
Comment: The findings were made on 13-Feb-2018 and the sanctions determined on 15-Nov-2018 but only now announced. A right of appeal does not justify keeping these secret. The HKICPA lacks the transparency expected of a regulator. The committee criticises the HKICPA for failing to simplify matters by amending its case on the basis of Ms Annells' convictions, and for sloppy bundles.
Mysterious 8,500% stock gain attracts big funds (and big questions)
Bloomberg, 22-Feb-2019
Comment: this is a closed-end investment fund trading at 93 times its net asset value, rather than the normal discount that such funds attract. MSCI and HSI should know better than to include such funds in their indices, as they are not regular companies and are prohibited from participating in business management. They are also exempt from the public float requirements, which is probably why the SFC has not issued concentration warnings on such stocks, but it should do so anyway.
SFC fines Guosen Securities (HK) HK$15.2m for breaches of AML requirements
SFC, 18-Feb-2019
The firm processed over 2200 suspicious third-party deposits (i.e. not made by clients but into their accounts) totalling over HK$2.3bn in 14 months up to Dec-2015.
Revealed: SFC probes Chairman, CEO of Hua Han Health (0587), freezes their accounts
Webb-site.com, 16-Feb-2019
The SFC has frozen accounts at 3 brokerages up to HK$3.81bn, the amount raised by HHH in 2015 in an open offer ($3.19bn) and a CB ($0.62bn) issued to Huarong (2799) and CCB (0939). The SFC suspects false or misleading statements and misappropriation of part of the proceeds.
Central Wealth (0139) raises CEO's salary by 400%
Company announcement, 15-Feb-2019
The boost to HK$6m is "to provide incentive…to strive for the continual development and expansion of the Group" - but the pay is not performance-linked. Central Wealth is part of the Huarong-CMB network we warned readers about on 19-Oct-2018. The stock has dropped 64.1% since Mr Xu Ke joined the board as CEO on 27-Feb-2018.
Hao Tian Dev (0474) issues shares to China Animation (1566)
Company announcement, 13-Feb-2019
The new shares amount to 7.07% of the enlarged shares. In return, HTD gets 49% of a newly-incorporated subsidiary of China Animation, which holds unspecified intellectual property rights. China Animation has not made any announcement, so we have no idea why it is doing this.
'Excellent Wife' cooking class offered by Hong Kong gas supplier
Bloomberg, 4-Feb-2019
As first reported by Webb-site.com. We're looking forward to the "Excellent Husband" how-to-repair-a-gas-stove course.
SFC revokes licence of W. Falcon Asset Management (Asia) Ltd
SFC, 4-Feb-2019
For window-dressing its month-end liquid capital with dud cheques.

Our stories

Hopewell and the lemon discount
What does the ability to take a company private for 57 cents on the dollar say about the future of HK's public market? Failure to reform HK's laws and regulations to improve the corporate governance framwork will see the market shrink over time as good companies stay away and controllers take existing companies private. (22-Mar-2019)
Inside the Kingdee bubble
It appears to be a Shenzhen success story, conquering the World with the "Chinese management model", but we burn through the techno-fog of the disclosures and dig deep inside the accounts. You won't like what you see. (18-Mar-2019)
Revealed: SFC probes Chairman, CEO of Hua Han Health (0587), freezes their accounts
The SFC has frozen accounts at 3 brokerages up to HK$3.81bn, the amount raised by HHH in 2015 in an open offer ($3.19bn) and a CB ($0.62bn) issued to Huarong (2799) and CCB (0939). The SFC suspects false or misleading statements and misappropriation of part of the proceeds. (16-Feb-2019)
A simpler, fairer tax system
There are calls for a rental deduction for HK salaries tax, to compensate for the mortgage interest deduction. Both miss the point. Governments should not use tax breaks to distort consumer choice. Give people unconditional higher personal allowances instead, and introduce a flat rate of tax above that. Also, abolish the tiered rate of profits tax and the R&D deduction, 2 gimmicks introduced by Carrie Lam. (30-Jan-2019)
Why stock-plunges happen so often in HK
We explain the 20-year history to a statutory loophole which keeps investors in the dark on share pledges. (24-Jan-2019)
Jiayuan (2768) Chairman should expect the SFC's call
After denying any knowledge of reasons for last Thursday's crash, Jiayuan now says that 3.73% of the Chairman's stake was dumped in a forced sale due to enforcement of share charges and/or margin financings. (23-Jan-2019)
Last chance to satirise the anthem
In case you've lost that lovin' feelin' for the Chinese markets. (10-Jan-2019)
Brexit and customs from a HK perspective
Theresa May has pursued 2 conflicting objectives: leaving the customs union; and keeping the UK/EU customs border open. HK people are used to a customs boundary with the rest of China, with no impact on sovereignty. Similarly, Northern Ireland should choose between remaining in the EU customs union post-Brexit with a boundary down the Irish Sea, or leaving the EU customs union and having a hard border with the Republic of Ireland. Only then can the UK or GB have independence in trade negotiations with other countries and deliver a proper Brexit. (17-Dec-2018)
Companies Registry illegally overcharged users HK$3.6bn
The CFA has ruled that Trading Funds must not seek distributable profit or pay "notional tax". Webb-site finds that the Companies Registry has overcharged users HK$3.6bn since 1998, making up to a 94% return on fixed assets against a target 5.7%. The illegal excess should now be returned by waiving fees, including scrapping the Great Paywall of HK on corporate information. It should not take another judicial review to do so. (19-Nov-2018)
41 endangered stocks
If HKEX proceeds with an ill-conceived Listing Rule change, companies with disclaimed audit reports for 2019 will be suspended and likely delisted, victimising minority shareholders. We now list those with disclaimed audits up to 30-Jun-2018 which would be affected if the rule applied today. Make your submission to stop this nonsense! (17-Nov-2018)
Freedom and the future of China
This is the text of a High Table dinner speech delivered by Webb-site founder David Webb to the students of Chi Sun College, University of Hong Kong, this evening. Hyperlinks have been added. (30-Oct-2018)

Other news

Concentration warning in Reach New (8471)
SFC, 15-Mar-2019
The top 20 holders have 93.74%. The stock listed on 21-Jul-2017 and closed today at $1.51 or 5.03x its IPO price.
Concentration warning in Fullwealth (1034)
SFC, 15-Mar-2019
The top 20 holders have 95.6%. The stock was listed on 30-Oct-2018 and closed today at $1.42, or 4.44x its IPO price.
SFC fines Merrill Lynch HK$128m for sponsor failures
SFC, 14-Mar-2019
On the Tianhe Chemicals (1619) IPO in 2014. Notably no human at ML is named as responsible for the failings - perhaps that will come later. ML scores a lower fine than fellow sponsor Morgan Stanley at HK$224m for the same deal. UBS scored HK$375m, but that was for a hatrick of listing applications.
SFC fines Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd HK$224m for sponsor failures
SFC, 14-Mar-2019
The firm jointly sponsored Tianhe Chemicals (1619) in 2014, with UBS and Merrill Lynch. Notably this announcement doesn't mention any human at MS as being responsible - perhaps that will follow later.
SFC fines Standard Chartered Secs HK$59.7m for sponsor failures
SFC, 14-Mar-2019
For the 2009 IPO of China Forestry (now delisted), which it jointly sponsored with UBS. Together they win our "can't see the wood OR the trees" award for epic due diligence. Notably no human at SCS is named as responsible.
SFC fines UBS HK$375m and suspends its sponsor licence for 1 year
SFC, 14-Mar-2019
Over the IPOs of China Forestry in 2009 (now delisted), Tianhe Chemicals (1619) in 2014 and a third as-yet unnamed listing application.
Concentration warning in KNT (1025)
SFC, 13-Mar-2019
The top 20 holders have 93% of the stock, which has more than tripled in price since its 28-Feb listing.
Concentration warning in Grand Investment (1160)
SFC, 8-Mar-2019
A rare concentration warning in a Chapter 21 (closed-end investment fund) company. 20 holders have 97.96% and it trades at about 21x NAV.
SFC directs suspension of China DYF (0612)
SEHK, 8-Mar-2019
This follows a complaint by Webb-site to the SFC on 18-Feb-2019 and a Bloomberg article on 22-Feb-2019. This is a "Chapter 21" closed-end investment fund, trading at about 86x NAV. Such companies are exempt from the public float requirement of the Listing Rules, and the SFC has not issued any concentration warning on this stock. Consequently it has been admitted into various HSI and MSCI indices, exacerbating the bubble. It was due to enter the HSI Large and Mid-Cap Index at the close of business today.
HKICPA permanently removes Deborah Annells, convicted thief and fraudster
HKICPA, 5-Mar-2019
Comment: The findings were made on 13-Feb-2018 and the sanctions determined on 15-Nov-2018 but only now announced. A right of appeal does not justify keeping these secret. The HKICPA lacks the transparency expected of a regulator. The committee criticises the HKICPA for failing to simplify matters by amending its case on the basis of Ms Annells' convictions, and for sloppy bundles.
Mysterious 8,500% stock gain attracts big funds (and big questions)
Bloomberg, 22-Feb-2019
Comment: this is a closed-end investment fund trading at 93 times its net asset value, rather than the normal discount that such funds attract. MSCI and HSI should know better than to include such funds in their indices, as they are not regular companies and are prohibited from participating in business management. They are also exempt from the public float requirements, which is probably why the SFC has not issued concentration warnings on such stocks, but it should do so anyway.
SFC fines Guosen Securities (HK) HK$15.2m for breaches of AML requirements
SFC, 18-Feb-2019
The firm processed over 2200 suspicious third-party deposits (i.e. not made by clients but into their accounts) totalling over HK$2.3bn in 14 months up to Dec-2015.
Central Wealth (0139) raises CEO's salary by 400%
Company announcement, 15-Feb-2019
The boost to HK$6m is "to provide incentive…to strive for the continual development and expansion of the Group" - but the pay is not performance-linked. Central Wealth is part of the Huarong-CMB network we warned readers about on 19-Oct-2018. The stock has dropped 64.1% since Mr Xu Ke joined the board as CEO on 27-Feb-2018.
Hao Tian Dev (0474) issues shares to China Animation (1566)
Company announcement, 13-Feb-2019
The new shares amount to 7.07% of the enlarged shares. In return, HTD gets 49% of a newly-incorporated subsidiary of China Animation, which holds unspecified intellectual property rights. China Animation has not made any announcement, so we have no idea why it is doing this.
'Excellent Wife' cooking class offered by Hong Kong gas supplier
Bloomberg, 4-Feb-2019
As first reported by Webb-site.com. We're looking forward to the "Excellent Husband" how-to-repair-a-gas-stove course.
Previously on Webb-site.com
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