News

Carrie Lam's latest assault on free markets
Webb-site.com, 17-Apr-2018
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?
HKSAR v Jack Chen Keen, Hao May (fka Wang May Yan) & Eric Yee Wenjye
HK Court of Appeal, 16-Apr-2018
The trio lose their appeal against conviction in the Natural Dairy (NZ) case, in a mammoth 260-page judgment after a 10-day appeal hearing. The judges are critical of leading counsel for the 3 appellants for "swamping the Court with inconsequential argument and material that serves to obfuscate and distract." They were Clare Montgomery, QC, Ian Winter, QC, Graham Harris, SC and Edward Fitzgerald, QC.
Censure of G.A. (8126) and ex-directors
SEHK, 13-Apr-2018
The Exchange says the responsibilities of GEM Compliance Officers "must be taken seriously". A series of connected transactions went undetected for 8 years despite "purported" internal controls. We note that Mr Loh Nee Peng has been in trouble before, criticised by the Listing Committee in 2006.
Nomura subsidiary Instinet Pacific Ltd is fined HK$17.3m for algo and ALP failures
SFC, 13-Apr-2018
In one case, flawed software and a fat-finger 10x pricing error caused the algorithm to keep out-bidding itself by 20 ticks, affecting the pre-market price. In another case, the software allowed a human trader to override the safety limit 3 times, which "completely defeated its purpose" and caused a 31% price increase in 36 seconds. In the final case, the safety limit didn't function because the software did not allow for the absence of an opening price, knocking a price down by 14%. Lucky buyers!
SFC seeks disqualification of ex-Far East (0036) senior execs
SFC, 10-Apr-2018
The SFC is pursuing Duncan and Derek Chiu, sons of the late Chairman Deacon Chiu, and the former company secretary Michael Lui Hung Kwong. This follows the 2012 acquittal of Duncan Chiu, Mr Lui and the late Chairman's personal assistant, Wendy Yung Kim Bing, on fraud and theft charges. The judge in that case was minded to refer the matter to "the appropriate authority or SFC".
Ex-councillor assistant in court over HK$350k salary fraud
ICAC, 6-Apr-2018
No word yet on which member of Wong Tai Sin District Council he is alleged to have conspired with for over 5 years from Jan-2011 to Aug-2016.
Censure of Mr Fu Jiwen, absent former ED of Huarong Int Fin (0993)
SEHK, 3-Apr-2018
He was an ED until 2-Sep-2015. Subsequently, he failed to respond to investigation enquiries by the Listing Department of the Stock Exchange. It's another demonstration that the Exchange is an ineffective regulator - it is a for-profit company without statutory investigative powers. The listing regulatory function should be moved to the SFC, which could then at least seek co-operation from its mainland counterpart.
Exclusive: HK Government to launch "Christian Bonds"
Webb-site.com, 1-Apr-2018
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.
Solving the MPF-LSP offset problem, again
Webb-site.com, 30-Mar-2018
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.
HKSARG "shocked" over Benny Tai's remarks in TaiwanGrant Report
HK Government, 30-Mar-2018
They are so easily trolled. We are "shocked" that HKSARG interferes in Prof Tai's academic independence and that it has failed to implement the Grant Report's recommendations on HKU's governance to give it…greater independence. OK we are not shocked by that. Unsurprised and disappointed.
Raymond (0229) to begin quarterly reporting
Company announcement, 28-Mar-2018
Kudos to Raymond for improving disclosure by quarterly reporting starting 2018 Q1. This will keep investors better informed of trends in the business, and we hope that others will follow the lead. Webb-site founder David Webb owns over 6% of this company.
Tight laws urged as touts corner Dayo Wong tickets
RTHK, 28-Mar-2018
What next - a ban on reselling shares for a profit after an IPO? The existing law against profiting from reselling tickets for events at private venues should be scrapped. Event organisers can personalise tickets if they want, preventing transfer and reducing value by removing that option. Otherwise, let the free market work.
Ex-sales manager in court for fraud over truck alteration works
ICAC, 27-Mar-2018
International Automobiles Ltd, which trades as Swire Motors, is a 100% subsidiary of Swire Pacific Ltd (0019/0087).
Respect, the national anthem and the Basic Law
Webb-site.com, 25-Mar-2018
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!
Concentration warning in Beaver (8275)
Company announcement, 23-Mar-2018
The top 20 holders have 94.89%.
Facebook, Big Brother and China
Webb-site.com, 23-Mar-2018
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.
Court convicts Chan Chi Kit of unlicensed dealing
SFC, 22-Mar-2018
Webb-site Who's Who has 7 people called Chan Chi Kit, so this makes 8.

Our stories

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)
Webb-site Who's Who covers HK solicitors
After a lot of coding over Christmas pudding and more than a dash of brandy butter, we are pleased to launch a new section of our database, monitoring HK lawyers. Now you can answer questions such as: Which are the biggest law firms? Who is the longest-practising solicitor? Who moved jobs this month? How many were admitted in other jurisdictions before or after HK? How many HK solicitors work for the SFC? (12-Jan-2018)
Belts and Burqas
Shortly before Christmas, the HK Financial Secretary announced the birth of the first Belt and Road bond in HK, the latest in a line of financial gimmicks designed to avoid meaningful regulatory reforms. (10-Jan-2018)
China Parenting (8361) controllers move 51.6% from CSL Securities to Emperor Securities
CSL Securities is owned by Convoy (1019). Both Convoy and China Parenting are in the "Enigma Network". Non-executive Chairman Ms Li Juan owns 39.9% while CEO Mr Cheng Li owns 11.7%. The two are declared to be acting in concert. (4-Jan-2018)

Other news

HKSAR v Jack Chen Keen, Hao May (fka Wang May Yan) & Eric Yee Wenjye
HK Court of Appeal, 16-Apr-2018
The trio lose their appeal against conviction in the Natural Dairy (NZ) case, in a mammoth 260-page judgment after a 10-day appeal hearing. The judges are critical of leading counsel for the 3 appellants for "swamping the Court with inconsequential argument and material that serves to obfuscate and distract." They were Clare Montgomery, QC, Ian Winter, QC, Graham Harris, SC and Edward Fitzgerald, QC.
Censure of G.A. (8126) and ex-directors
SEHK, 13-Apr-2018
The Exchange says the responsibilities of GEM Compliance Officers "must be taken seriously". A series of connected transactions went undetected for 8 years despite "purported" internal controls. We note that Mr Loh Nee Peng has been in trouble before, criticised by the Listing Committee in 2006.
Nomura subsidiary Instinet Pacific Ltd is fined HK$17.3m for algo and ALP failures
SFC, 13-Apr-2018
In one case, flawed software and a fat-finger 10x pricing error caused the algorithm to keep out-bidding itself by 20 ticks, affecting the pre-market price. In another case, the software allowed a human trader to override the safety limit 3 times, which "completely defeated its purpose" and caused a 31% price increase in 36 seconds. In the final case, the safety limit didn't function because the software did not allow for the absence of an opening price, knocking a price down by 14%. Lucky buyers!
SFC seeks disqualification of ex-Far East (0036) senior execs
SFC, 10-Apr-2018
The SFC is pursuing Duncan and Derek Chiu, sons of the late Chairman Deacon Chiu, and the former company secretary Michael Lui Hung Kwong. This follows the 2012 acquittal of Duncan Chiu, Mr Lui and the late Chairman's personal assistant, Wendy Yung Kim Bing, on fraud and theft charges. The judge in that case was minded to refer the matter to "the appropriate authority or SFC".
Ex-councillor assistant in court over HK$350k salary fraud
ICAC, 6-Apr-2018
No word yet on which member of Wong Tai Sin District Council he is alleged to have conspired with for over 5 years from Jan-2011 to Aug-2016.
Censure of Mr Fu Jiwen, absent former ED of Huarong Int Fin (0993)
SEHK, 3-Apr-2018
He was an ED until 2-Sep-2015. Subsequently, he failed to respond to investigation enquiries by the Listing Department of the Stock Exchange. It's another demonstration that the Exchange is an ineffective regulator - it is a for-profit company without statutory investigative powers. The listing regulatory function should be moved to the SFC, which could then at least seek co-operation from its mainland counterpart.
HKSARG "shocked" over Benny Tai's remarks in TaiwanGrant Report
HK Government, 30-Mar-2018
They are so easily trolled. We are "shocked" that HKSARG interferes in Prof Tai's academic independence and that it has failed to implement the Grant Report's recommendations on HKU's governance to give it…greater independence. OK we are not shocked by that. Unsurprised and disappointed.
Raymond (0229) to begin quarterly reporting
Company announcement, 28-Mar-2018
Kudos to Raymond for improving disclosure by quarterly reporting starting 2018 Q1. This will keep investors better informed of trends in the business, and we hope that others will follow the lead. Webb-site founder David Webb owns over 6% of this company.
Tight laws urged as touts corner Dayo Wong tickets
RTHK, 28-Mar-2018
What next - a ban on reselling shares for a profit after an IPO? The existing law against profiting from reselling tickets for events at private venues should be scrapped. Event organisers can personalise tickets if they want, preventing transfer and reducing value by removing that option. Otherwise, let the free market work.
Ex-sales manager in court for fraud over truck alteration works
ICAC, 27-Mar-2018
International Automobiles Ltd, which trades as Swire Motors, is a 100% subsidiary of Swire Pacific Ltd (0019/0087).
Previously on Webb-site.com
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