News

SFC bans Ngo Wing Chun, ex-HSBC, for a year
SFC, 20-Sep-2018
For taking client data with him by sending himself an e-mail when he quit.
SFC fines Huatai HK$800k for accidentally short-selling bonus shares of Great Wall Motor (2333)
SFC, 17-Sep-2018
Ironically, the SFC makes the same mistake as Huatai made when dealing. The SFC news says: "On 30 September 2015, when the bonus shares started trading on an ex-rights basis…". But the bonus shares didn't start trading until 14-Oct, that's the whole point. The existing shares began trading ex-bonus on 30-Sep. Let this be a reminder that when a company declares a bonus issue, it effectively delists a portion of its shares from the ex-date until the bonus shares are issued.
Trio guilty of bribery and disclosing identity of person under ICAC probe
ICAC, 14-Sep-2018
Leung Siu Lun, an ex-Vice President of HSBC's Mong Kok business centre, accepted bribes from Mickey Chu Kong, including hotel nights in Macau and free use of cars, one of which was parked in a Wilson car park supervised by his mother. When the ICAC came looking for parking records, she tipped off Leung.
Arcelormittal v China Oriental (0581) & others
HK Court of First Instance, 14-Sep-2018
The court rejects an application for discovery on the Jan-2017 placing of new shares which restored the public float and allowed the suspension to be lifted. China Oriental refuses to disclose the identity of the placees. Our take: the public float could have been restored without a placing, by issuing bonus shares with an alternative of non-voting convertible shares and having the two controllers elect to receive those, thereby reducing their voting weight and restoring the float. Several other companies have done so, including Sunevision (1686).
Jimmy Chan Yuen Tung v Ko Kin Hang
HK Court of First Instance, 13-Sep-2018
Mr Chan's claim is dismissed. He alleged that in Apr-2013, Mr Ko orally agreed to transfer at cost to him or his nominee 112m warrants which had been issued by China Zenith Chemical (0362) in a placing at only $0.002 per warrant the previous month. Mr Chan was the largest shareholder of China Zenith. We note that if the warrants had been issued to him directly, then it would have been a connected transaction.
Job seeker admits seeking employments by using false academic proofs and deception
ICAC, 12-Sep-2018
After fooling 2 Government departments, in 2013 Mr Poon Hoi Kan applied for an ICAC job using his bogus Australian graduation certificate. We note that he was convicted in Sep-2016 of disclosing to others that his elder brother was under ICAC investigation, after getting his wife to file a complaint in 2015 with the ICAC. Poon got 140 hours of community service for that.
Redco (1622) announces very generous (but wrong) HK$2.8827/share dividend
Company announcement, 12-Sep-2018
They must mean HK$0.028827. This after Webb-site complained to SEHK that the stock had gone ex-dividend on 10-Sep without saying when they would actually pay it.
Duo charged with HK$180k EMSD salary fraud
ICAC, 12-Sep-2018
Why doesn't the Government require its contractors to use biometric authentication for attendance records? This would at least prevent employees clocking each other in and out.
Lucy Michaels v Harbour Grand Hong Kong
HK Court of First Instance, 12-Sep-2018
Mrs Michaels claims for breach of contract and emotional stress after refusing to pay a deposit for a 1-month serviced apartment. Her claim is struck out. The licence agreement was not executed. The judge notes "it is plain and obvious that there was no legally enforceable agreement" and further "that there is no realistic prospect for Mrs Michaels to prove that Harbour Grand had any intention to inflict any injury (physical or mental)", nor that it was reckless to that risk. "Any such suggestion is, in my view, fanciful".
Lucy Michaels v Centaline, Chiu Chi Hung & Elina Pow Mui Ling
HK Court of First Instance, 12-Sep-2018
Mrs Michaels claims that she suffered carbon monoxide poisoning and PTSD in a flat rented by her daughter. The Master struck out her claim as it was beyond the 3-year limit in the Limitations Ordinance. Deputy Judge Paul Lam SC agrees, adding that "Mrs Michaels' claim is far-fetched, imaginative, and fanciful; it does not have any evidential basis at all. It would not make sense to disapply the limitation period to allow her to proceed with a hopeless claim."
SFC v Cheng Chak Ngok & MMTSFC announcement
HK Court of Appeal, 10-Sep-2018
The court rules that the MMT, chaired by Garry Tallentire, was "plainly wrong when it found that Mr Cheng had not engaged in market misconduct by insider dealing" in China Gas (0384) shares, because it had applied a criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt) rather than the civil standard (on a balance of probabilities). The court sends the matter back to a differently constituted MMT panel.
Who showed up? A simple change to the Listing Rules
Webb-site.com, 9-Sep-2018
Announcements of AGM/EGM outcomes should include directors' attendance. We shouldn't have to wait for the next annual report to find out who showed up.
Elliott International v BEA (0023) & others
HK Court of First Instance, 7-Sep-2018
Justice Jonathan Harris grants Elliott permission to publish the Points of Defence and the Points of Reply, in the interests of open justice. The broader question, in our view, is why, in the 21st century, are written submissions and other documents for open hearings not filed electronically and made available for free via the judiciary web site?
PCCW-HKT v HK Broadband Network Ltd
HK Court of First Instance, 5-Sep-2018
HKT's claim of trademark infringement in HKBN's advertising is dismissed.
Orient Securities (HK) Ltd v Allan Sing Hock Seng
HK Court of First Instance, 31-Aug-2018
Mr Sing is declared bankrupt. He owes the broker HK$49m in margin loans, secured only on 400,000 Hanergy (0566) shares and 51m Tech Pro (3823) shares. Tech Pro was a bubble which we warned readers about on 24-Sep-2015; it reached a closing high of $2.75 on 3-May-2016 and burst on 28-Jul-2016. It was suspended at $0.068 on 9-Nov-2017.
HKICPA v Cheung Yiu Hung: costs
HK Court of Appeal, 31-Aug-2018
Mr Cheung is ordered to pay the HKICPA costs of HK$120k for his unsuccessful appeal against sanctions.
HKSAR v Donald Tsang Yam Kuen
HK Court of Appeal, 31-Aug-2018
Leave to appeal to the CFA is refused. The court rules that the application is "not only without merit but, given the plethora of disparate questions posed under each point of law, was also without the distillation and focus that is expected of such applications."
ExCo convenor Bernard Chan calls for private housing price-fixingHK Government invasion of the housing market
South China Morning Post, 30-Aug-2018
He writes: "The government could decide how big flats should be, how many should be public housing, or how much the private ones should cost." That's central planning at its worst. Why not just supply land, provide means-tested public rental vouchers to those in need, and let the free market work for everyone else? See our article "HK Government invasion of the housing market", 2-Jul-2018.
Memorial Park Hong Kong Ltd v Secretary for Justice
HK Court of First Instance, 30-Aug-2018
The private columbarium is held in breach of lease provisions prohibiting the storage of human remains and the sub-letting of niches. It is ordered to refund its customers (or presumably, their estates, if the customer has been reduced to ashes).
Elliott International v BEA (0023) & others
HK Court of First Instance, 28-Aug-2018
10 months after a hearing, Jonathan Harris orders discovery on both sides, including "documents recording Elliott’s strategy at the time of its investment".

Our stories

Who showed up? A simple change to the Listing Rules
Announcements of AGM/EGM outcomes should include directors' attendance. We shouldn't have to wait for the next annual report to find out who showed up. (9-Sep-2018)
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)

Other news

SFC bans Ngo Wing Chun, ex-HSBC, for a year
SFC, 20-Sep-2018
For taking client data with him by sending himself an e-mail when he quit.
SFC fines Huatai HK$800k for accidentally short-selling bonus shares of Great Wall Motor (2333)
SFC, 17-Sep-2018
Ironically, the SFC makes the same mistake as Huatai made when dealing. The SFC news says: "On 30 September 2015, when the bonus shares started trading on an ex-rights basis…". But the bonus shares didn't start trading until 14-Oct, that's the whole point. The existing shares began trading ex-bonus on 30-Sep. Let this be a reminder that when a company declares a bonus issue, it effectively delists a portion of its shares from the ex-date until the bonus shares are issued.
Trio guilty of bribery and disclosing identity of person under ICAC probe
ICAC, 14-Sep-2018
Leung Siu Lun, an ex-Vice President of HSBC's Mong Kok business centre, accepted bribes from Mickey Chu Kong, including hotel nights in Macau and free use of cars, one of which was parked in a Wilson car park supervised by his mother. When the ICAC came looking for parking records, she tipped off Leung.
Arcelormittal v China Oriental (0581) & others
HK Court of First Instance, 14-Sep-2018
The court rejects an application for discovery on the Jan-2017 placing of new shares which restored the public float and allowed the suspension to be lifted. China Oriental refuses to disclose the identity of the placees. Our take: the public float could have been restored without a placing, by issuing bonus shares with an alternative of non-voting convertible shares and having the two controllers elect to receive those, thereby reducing their voting weight and restoring the float. Several other companies have done so, including Sunevision (1686).
Jimmy Chan Yuen Tung v Ko Kin Hang
HK Court of First Instance, 13-Sep-2018
Mr Chan's claim is dismissed. He alleged that in Apr-2013, Mr Ko orally agreed to transfer at cost to him or his nominee 112m warrants which had been issued by China Zenith Chemical (0362) in a placing at only $0.002 per warrant the previous month. Mr Chan was the largest shareholder of China Zenith. We note that if the warrants had been issued to him directly, then it would have been a connected transaction.
Job seeker admits seeking employments by using false academic proofs and deception
ICAC, 12-Sep-2018
After fooling 2 Government departments, in 2013 Mr Poon Hoi Kan applied for an ICAC job using his bogus Australian graduation certificate. We note that he was convicted in Sep-2016 of disclosing to others that his elder brother was under ICAC investigation, after getting his wife to file a complaint in 2015 with the ICAC. Poon got 140 hours of community service for that.
Redco (1622) announces very generous (but wrong) HK$2.8827/share dividend
Company announcement, 12-Sep-2018
They must mean HK$0.028827. This after Webb-site complained to SEHK that the stock had gone ex-dividend on 10-Sep without saying when they would actually pay it.
Duo charged with HK$180k EMSD salary fraud
ICAC, 12-Sep-2018
Why doesn't the Government require its contractors to use biometric authentication for attendance records? This would at least prevent employees clocking each other in and out.
Lucy Michaels v Harbour Grand Hong Kong
HK Court of First Instance, 12-Sep-2018
Mrs Michaels claims for breach of contract and emotional stress after refusing to pay a deposit for a 1-month serviced apartment. Her claim is struck out. The licence agreement was not executed. The judge notes "it is plain and obvious that there was no legally enforceable agreement" and further "that there is no realistic prospect for Mrs Michaels to prove that Harbour Grand had any intention to inflict any injury (physical or mental)", nor that it was reckless to that risk. "Any such suggestion is, in my view, fanciful".
Lucy Michaels v Centaline, Chiu Chi Hung & Elina Pow Mui Ling
HK Court of First Instance, 12-Sep-2018
Mrs Michaels claims that she suffered carbon monoxide poisoning and PTSD in a flat rented by her daughter. The Master struck out her claim as it was beyond the 3-year limit in the Limitations Ordinance. Deputy Judge Paul Lam SC agrees, adding that "Mrs Michaels' claim is far-fetched, imaginative, and fanciful; it does not have any evidential basis at all. It would not make sense to disapply the limitation period to allow her to proceed with a hopeless claim."
SFC v Cheng Chak Ngok & MMTSFC announcement
HK Court of Appeal, 10-Sep-2018
The court rules that the MMT, chaired by Garry Tallentire, was "plainly wrong when it found that Mr Cheng had not engaged in market misconduct by insider dealing" in China Gas (0384) shares, because it had applied a criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt) rather than the civil standard (on a balance of probabilities). The court sends the matter back to a differently constituted MMT panel.
Elliott International v BEA (0023) & others
HK Court of First Instance, 7-Sep-2018
Justice Jonathan Harris grants Elliott permission to publish the Points of Defence and the Points of Reply, in the interests of open justice. The broader question, in our view, is why, in the 21st century, are written submissions and other documents for open hearings not filed electronically and made available for free via the judiciary web site?
PCCW-HKT v HK Broadband Network Ltd
HK Court of First Instance, 5-Sep-2018
HKT's claim of trademark infringement in HKBN's advertising is dismissed.
Orient Securities (HK) Ltd v Allan Sing Hock Seng
HK Court of First Instance, 31-Aug-2018
Mr Sing is declared bankrupt. He owes the broker HK$49m in margin loans, secured only on 400,000 Hanergy (0566) shares and 51m Tech Pro (3823) shares. Tech Pro was a bubble which we warned readers about on 24-Sep-2015; it reached a closing high of $2.75 on 3-May-2016 and burst on 28-Jul-2016. It was suspended at $0.068 on 9-Nov-2017.
Previously on Webb-site.com
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