SFC obtains disqualification orders against former directors of Luxey (8041)Judgment
SFC, 24-May-2023
Webb-site first blew the whistle about this wrong-doing back in 2012. It took the SFC until 2019 to bring this action. In our view, It was and is too little, too late.
Tam Sze Leung & others v Commissioner of Police
HK Court of Appeal, 14-Apr-2023
The Police win their appeal.
Court reaffirms SFC's power of issuing restriction noticesJudgment
SFC, 22-Mar-2023
AMCO (0630): INED Mr Chan Tsz Keung under investigation
Company announcement, 16-Mar-2023
AMCO was a member of our 2017 "Enigma Network". Mr Chan was then SFC-licensed at Suncorp Securities, owned by Suncorp (1063), another Enigma company, and in 2018 moved to Astrum Capital Management (a broker in the network) until 2021. Today's announcement coincides with an SFC-ICAC investigation of an alleged pump-and-dump syndicate announced on 15-Mar, which involved "qualified accountants and senior executives of a number of Hong Kong-listed companies". We've already seen another Enigma company, CAID (0048) announced that an ED is under investigation.
China Automotive Interior Decoration (0048): an ED is under investigationSupplement
Company announcement, 15-Mar-2023
This coincides with an SFC-ICAC joint arrest operation announced on 15-Mar, which involved "qualified accountants and senior executives of a number of Hong Kong-listed companies". CAID was one of 50 listed companies in our "Enigma Network" of 2017. The supplemental announcement names the ED as Warren Wong Ho Yin.
5 more arrested in SFC-ICAC joint operation against sophisticated ramp-and-dump syndicate
SFC, 15-Mar-2023
Founder (0418): INED Mr Lau Ka Wing is under investigation by a HK authorityUpdate
Company announcement, 15-Mar-2023
The Board was "made aware from announcements published by other listed companies" and "has not been able to reach Mr Lau". Update: he has resigned from Founder "due to his other business commitments".
ABC Multiactive (8131): ED Mr Lau Ka Wing is under investigation by a HK authority
Company announcement, 15-Mar-2023
The board was "made aware from the published news with the Stock Exchange" and "has not been able to contact Mr. Lau".
Green Energy (0979): INED Mr Lau Ka Wing is under investigation by a HK authority
Company announcement, 14-Mar-2023
The company "has not been able to reach Mr Lau".
Hao Wen (8019): certain regulatory authorities attended an HK office on 9-Nov
Company announcement, 15-Nov-2022
The uncertain authorities would be the ICAC and SFC, based on their announcements of 10-Nov.
CBK (8428): a regulatory authority attended the head office in HK on 9-Nov
Company announcement, 11-Nov-2022
This was probably the SFC or ICAC, given the large joint raid they announced yesterday.
SFC and ICAC joint operation against sophisticated ramp-and-dump syndicateICAC announcement
SFC, 10-Nov-2022
Wan Cheng Metal Packaging (8291): a regulatory authority attended the head office on 9-Nov
Company announcement, 10-Nov-2022
This was probably the SFC or ICAC, given the large joint raid they announced on 10-Nov.
Court dismisses challenge to SFC's power of issuing restriction noticesJudgment
SFC, 28-Sep-2022
This relates to an investigation into an alleged pump-and-dump scheme in shares of WMCH Global (8208), which crashed 92% on 26-Nov-2020. The applicants had earlier succeeded in a judicial review of Police "letters of no consent" to "informally" freeze bank accounts. This time, the same judge, Russell Coleman, upheld the SFC's powers.
HKICPA fines Charles Chan Wai Dune, Delores Teh Eng Hua, Yau Hok Hung & CCIF CPA Ltd
HKICPA, 5-May-2022
For bad audit work on the 2005-2007 accounts of First Natural Foods (1076), now reborn as Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd. The main subsidiary of the Fujianese eel producer turned out to have 2 sets of accounts and there were forged sales. Ever alert, It took 7 years until the Financial Reporting Council received a complaint "from a regulator" (probably SFC) and another 3.5 years until they issued a report and sent it to the HKICPA in Nov-2018. We note that Mr Chan and his firm were previously fined by HKICPA in 2010 in a separate case.
Tam Sze Leung & others v Commissioner of Police
HK Court of First Instance, 30-Dec-2021
Justice Russell Coleman finds that the issue of "letters of no consent" by the Police to "informally" freeze bank funds of persons under investigation is ultra vires and unconstitutional. The proceedings reveal that the SFC is investigating the applicants for suspected stock market manipulation in a pump-and-dump scheme between 2018 and 2020. The SFC referred a suspicion of money-laundering to the Police, which then asked 3 banks to file Suspicious Transaction Reports in order to trigger LNCs. The tail was wagging the dog.
Chong Hing Bank Ltd: privatisation by scheme of arrangement sanctioned
HK Court of First Instance, 18-Oct-2021
Citing a "lack of a meaningful response from the SFC", Justice Linda Chan appointed Winston Poon SC and Eva Sit SC as amici curiae (friends of the court) to opine on the meaning of Rule 2.10 of the Takeovers Code. In her judgment, this rule prohibits concert parties from voting at the court meeting, rather than simply requiring that their votes shall not be counted for the purposes of Rule 2.10. This is a different view that taken by Justice Jonathan Harris in the case of Cosmos Machinery Enterprises Ltd, but she regards his view as obiter (non-binding).
HK Financial Secretary petitions court to wind up Next Digital (0282)
HK Government, 29-Sep-2021
Cosmos Machinery Enterprises Ltd: privatisation by scheme of arrangement
HK Court of First Instance, 19-Jul-2021
The scheme was not approved by shareholders, but Justice Jonathan Harris addresses the issue of whether concert parties should be allowed to vote at the court meeting, with their votes being disregarded for the purpose of Takeovers Code Rule 2.10. He concludes that they should: "the Non-Prohibition View is the correct position… Had the necessary majority been obtained, the offeror concert parities shareholders’ votes would not have been counted for the purposes of determining whether or not Rule 2.10 had been satisfied."
SFC launches Govt welfare scheme for property tycoons
Well, not all tycoons, only larger ones. (10-May-2021)
A New Ray of light on an Enigma Network case
A decision quietly posted on the SFAT website reveals that Zhou Ling, ex-Chairman of New Ray Medicine (6108) is suspected by the SFC to have committed "misconduct and obtained secret profits from certain transactions" by NRM. Earlier gazetted Restriction Notices on a client at 2 brokers now make sense - the SFC has reduced disclosure in that area so much as to make the publication meaningless. (26-Oct-2020)
SFC issues restriction notices to two brokerages to freeze accounts of client involved in suspected corporate misconductRestriction Notices
SFC, 14-Aug-2020
There's no disclosure of the listed company involved. Our database records that both of the brokers acted as placing agents to companies in the "Enigma Network" up to 2016. The brokers are not under investigation, but an individual client is suspected of breaching his duties to a listed company. The Notices are remarkably brief, no longer referring to a "Statement of Reasons", which the SFC has stopped publishing anyway, probably because we kept figuring out the identities of persons involved. The "specified amount" involved is not disclosed either.
HK Financial Secretary's letter to SFC on National Security Law
SFC, 17-Jul-2020
This "Dear Ashley" letter was circulated to intermediaries by the SFC on Friday night but doesn't appear on its website, so now it appears on ours. Good to know that we remain free to opine that the mainland's centrally-planned, authoritarian, state-owned economy is unsustainable and will eventually change to a democratic, open, free-market economy and society to deliver the growth that its citizens expect.
Court dismisses challenge to SFC's investigative powers
SFC, 18-Feb-2020
The judgment reveals ongoing SFC investigations involving China Agri-Products Exchange (0149) and Skyfame Realty (0059). Directors of both are suspected of acting against the interests of shareholders, issuing bonds at deep discounts to shell companies in placings via Anglo Chinese. The bonds were resold to applicants for HK residency under the since-suspended Capital Investment Entrant Scheme, There is also an investigation into parties behind Aeso (8341).
Decision on shareholdings of TVB (0511)
HK Communications Authority, 27-Sep-2019
In amazing legal contortions, the CA revokes its 2015 and 2016 approvals but issues new approvals based on new, unpublished "deeds of undertaking" and "statutory declarations" that although Dr Chan does not control the majority of the board of YHL, there is an "understanding and practice… that he would lead the YHL Board in relation to how votes in TVB were to be exercised". Therefore, mainland firm CMC and Mr Li Ruigang are not voting controllers of TVB, despite various rights in a "Relationship Agreement" that was not disclosed earlier. The decision follows a referral by the SFC.
MMT rejects SFC application to vary investigation costs order in Fujikon case
Market Misconduct Tribunal, 26-Aug-2019
MMT fines H&H (1112) and its Chairman HK$1.6m each for late disclosure of inside information
SFC, 25-Jun-2019
For the 3rd time, the MMT gets it wrong by penalising shareholders for the wrong-doing done to them. This follows Yorkey (2788) in Feb-2017 and Fujikon (0927) in Apr-2019. In each case, the company's failure to disclose was entirely due to the negligence of the directors involved and they should have paid all the fines and expenses. Both the Fujikon and H&H cases were settlements agreed with the SFC, so the SFC has allowed directors to shift part of the burden of their wrong-doing onto shareholders by using company funds. This has to stop.
MMT decision on SFC investigation costs of Fujikon and its directors
Market Misconduct Tribunal, 31-May-2019
The MMT reduces the SFC's claim from HK$412,637 to an order nisi of HK$100,000.
The spectacular implosion of Dr. Cho's 'nefarious network'The Enigma Network
Bloomberg, 15-May-2019
Today is the 2nd anniversary of Webb-site's publication of the Enigma Network. So far, nobody has been charged with any offence, and no SFC action has been taken to bring in the liquidators to wind up any of the listed companies involved.
HKICPA bans Richard Yin Yingneng for 2 years
HKICPA, 2-May-2019
Amazingly, it was only 18 months after the SFC's announcement of the Court's findings that the HKICPA "became aware" of the wrong-doing by its members, including Kenny Lee Yiu Sun. There appears to be some sort of communications failure between the 2 regulators.
Stop the Scripless U-turn
Investors were in the dark for 4 years about plans to tear up a model that was first recommended by the Hay Davison Report in 1988, has worked in Australia since 1999, and was legislated in HK in 2015 but never actioned. Our extensive discussions with SFC and HKEX reveal no legitimate issues. We urge legislators to reject this U-turn and the SFC to proceed with the legislated model. The stench of vested interests is overpowering. (30-Apr-2019)
SFC action is too little, too late for minority shareholders of Luxey (8041)
The SFC seeks disqualification of 2 ex-directors, but fails to seek any recovery of Luxey's HK$350m, 7-fold overpayment in an acquisition from an alleged nominee of then Chairman Joseph Lau. We first documented this case and numerous other suspicious transactions involving Luxey and other listed companies in a series of articles in 2012. This is the only one to see any action, and it falls far short of what is needed to provide a deterrent. (14-Apr-2019)
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.
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.
Court dismisses judicial review application against SFC
SFC, 14-Feb-2019
HK Court of First Instance, 11-Feb-2019
The application for judicial review of the SFC's decision to provide information to Japanese regulators fails.
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)
SFC prohibits brokers' client from placing orders for derivative warrants
SFC, 4-Jan-2019
The SFC sketches allegations that a trader bought warrants, then bid up the underlying stock, then sold warrants, then sold the stock, and somehow made a profit repeating this pattern despite the often-wide spreads in DWs. In our view a binding order can never be false, and the SFC should not encourage the fallacy that bids and offers in the market should provide a predictive price signal to investors. They are no more than bids and offers capable of being executed. The investigation continues - but aren't there better things on which to spend limited enforcement resources?
How activist Webb earned 20% a year investing in Hong Kong stocks (video)
Bloomberg, 4-Jan-2019
The 20%-a-year stock picker who wishes his edge would disappear
Bloomberg, 3-Jan-2019
SFC v X Ltd
HK Court of First Instance, 5-Dec-2018
A heavily redacted judgment, released online on the eve of Chinese New Year (4-Feb-2019), relates to an SFC direction on 27-Nov-2017 to supply evidence in relation to a listed company, known only as Y Ltd. The defendant's solicitors are Lam & Co. The investigations are ongoing.
Landing (0582) Chairman Yang Zhihui "has resumed his duties"
Company announcement, 26-Nov-2018
After 3 months AWOL, Mr Yang has "explained that he has been assisting the relevant department of the [PRC] with its investigation". No word on where he is or whether the HK SFC's freeze of his brokerage accounts is still in effect.
Hua Han Health (0587) gives reasons for SFC's suspension of trading
Company announcement, 21-Nov-2018
"The concerns of the SFC stated in the Rule 8(1) Direction aremainly in relation to the annual reports issued by the Company since 30 June 2012".
SFC directs suspension of Hua Han Health (0587)
SEHK, 20-Nov-2018
It's been suspended since 27-Sep-2016 when it first missed a results deadline.
SFC launches report-a-crook form
SFC, 18-Oct-2018
Don't hold back! Good to see that new logo, too. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Peregrine's collapse.
SFC v Moody's Investors Service HK Ltd
HK Court of Final Appeal, 11-Oct-2018
Areion Asset Management Co Ltd ordered to pay JPY684.24m by 13-Aug-2018 (in Japanese)
Japan Financial Services Agency, 12-Jun-2018
ICAC and SFC raided Town Health (3886) offices on 9-Feb
Company announcement, 13-Feb-2018
Comment: this is another step forward in the investigation of the "Enigma Network" which Webb-site first exposed last year.
Webb on Reuters TV re second-class shares and Communist Party strategy
Reuters, 10-Jan-2018
Webb on "The Pulse" re the Enigma Network (video)
RTHK, 16-Dec-2017
Court dismisses challenge to SFC's search warrant and provision of information to CSRC
SFC, 8-Dec-2017
We attach the judgment, which provides a rare look inside the Enforcement Division of the SFC and how it investigates cases. Requests from the CSRC involved the first investigation of alleged manipulation under the Stock Connect scheme with Shanghai, for which Mr Tang Hanbo was convicted on the mainland on 2-Mar-2017 and fines totalling RMB1.2bn were imposed. Mr Tang is a HK resident. The SFC had earlier commenced investigations in separate cases in HK, and the search warrant was obtained for those, without mentioning any co-operation with the CSRC.
Lim Hang Young v L & A (8195) and Yang's Holdings Capital Ltd
HK Court of First Instance, 14-Nov-2017
The Korean petitioner was a no-show and the case is struck out. Justice Jonathan Harris writes: "I note that the Companies Court has had a series of petitions to deal with in the last couple of years which involve Korean petitioners issuing similar petitions to wind up small listed companies on the grounds of misconduct. It is unclear what their motivation is, but it might be prudent for this to be brought to the attention of the Securities and Futures Commission…"
SFC suspends Tech Pro (3823)
Company announcement, 9-Nov-2017
'Enigma Network' crash spurs HK's largest financial raidThe Enigma Network
Bloomberg, 13-Oct-2017
SFC directs suspension of New Ray Medicine (6108)Enigma Network
Company announcement, 6-Oct-2017
This was one of the 50 stocks not to own in our "Enigma Network" published on 15-May-2017.
Statement on the conclusions on HK Listing Regulation
HK loses on two levels from today's climbdown by the SFC. (15-Sep-2017)
One Board, One Regulator
We respond to HKEX's 2nd attempt to introduce 2nd-class shares via a "New Board", rather than cleaning up its existing boards and transferring listing regulation to the statutory regulator which oversees takeovers, the SFC. Coupled with recent moves to embed the Communist Party in the constitutions of state-controlled enterprises, HK and China risk a toxic combination of no votes for government and no votes for capital, leading to an emerging tycoon-Communist Party oligarchy. We propose a better approach. (7-Aug-2017)
Koo Ming Kown v SFC
HK Court of First Instance, 21-Jul-2017
The SFC succeeds in its application to strike out Mr Koo's claim.
SFC directs continued suspension of China Household (0692)
Company announcement, 17-Jul-2017
The stock has been suspended since 22-Jun-2017 following a negative research report. The SFC suspects irregularities in the 2013 financial data.
SFC directs continued suspension of National Agri (1236)
Company announcement, 4-Jul-2017
The stock last traded on 27-Mar-2017. It was suspended the next day because it could not produce its 2016 results. The SFC suspects materially false, incomplete or misleading information was contained in a series of announcements regarding payment of "earnest money" for a purported investment fund.
Activist investor David Webb, who called HK small-cap rout, says regulators failed investors
CNBC, 29-Jun-2017
HK small cap stocks and the 'Enigma Network'
CNBC, 29-Jun-2017
Webb on "Money Talk" on Radio 3
RTHK, 29-Jun-2017
Activist investor calls HK market rout
Reuters, 28-Jun-2017
SFC directs continued suspension of China Taifeng Beddings (0873)
Company announcement, 20-Jun-2017
The stock last traded on 26-Feb-2015.
AA & EA v SFC: decision on amendment
HK Court of First Instance, 16-Jun-2017
The applicants are refused leave to amend their Form 86 (Notice of application for leave to apply for judicial review).
Lerado (1225): SFC minded to suspend stock from 6-Jun-2017
Company announcement, 5-Jun-2017
At last, some action from the SFC. Nearly 2 years after Lerado hit the market with a highly dilutive deep-discount open offer (followed by a deep-discount rights issue 10 months later), it appears to the SFC that the circular dated 26-Oct-2015 included "materially false, incomplete or misleading information". Since the open offer was announced, the total return on the stock has been -90.77%. The SFC is presumably planning further action. Lerado is a member of what Webb-site calls the "Enigma Network".
SFC directs continued suspension of Tianhe (1619)
Company announcement, 25-May-2017
It was first suspended at 1.01pm on 26-Mar-2015 at the company's request because it could not publish its 2014 results by the 31-Mar deadline.
Asia Energy Logistics (0351): SFC blocks placing
Company announcement, 19-May-2017
The SFC has objected to the listing of the placing shares - something that the Stock Exchange, the for-profit regulator owned by HKEX (0388), was apparently unwilling to do.
SFC directs continued suspension of Changgang Dunxin (2229)
Company announcement, 18-May-2017
It was first suspended on 20-Jan-2016.
SFC directs suspension of China Huishan (6863)
SEHK, 8-May-2017
The stock was suspended at the company's request at 1pm on 24-Mar-2017. The SFC has now directed it to remain suspended.
SFC v C,D,E,F,G & China United Telecom Ltd
HK Court of First Instance, 4-May-2017
C = Lu Ruifeng; D = Tin Yin Kwan, wife of Yao Wen Pei; E=Clear Excel Ltd, F=Kayden Ltd, G=Yao Wen Pei, father of Charles Yiu Hoi Ying, then Finance Director of Asia Telemedia Ltd (0376). China United Telecom Ltd (BVI) fails in its application to lift an injunction freezing funds.
MMT sanctions Yorkey Optical (2788), its CEO and Financial Controller for late disclosure of Inside InformationSFO s307Z
SFC, 28-Feb-2017
The CEO and company are each fined HK$1m. Ironically then, shareholders are paying for not being told about Inside Information. The HK Treasury gets HK$2m, but 115 investors who overpaid by HK$1.53m during a 13-week period get nothing. The SFC could claim for them under SFO s213, but has not. It appears investors in small-caps are on their own, and must make their own claims under SFO s307Z.
SFC directs suspension of GME (8188) on day 1
SEHK, 22-Feb-2017
We don't yet know the reason for the suspension, but the stock is up 543% on its placing price. However, if that is the only reason, then why hasn't the SFC suspended other bubbles like China Jicheng (1027), Luen Wong (8217), Tai Kam (8321), Fullshare (0607) and Zall (2098), to name just a few?
AA & EA v SFC: decision on disclosure
HK Court of First Instance, 16-Jan-2017
The SFC is ordered to disclose records of a phone call with the Japanese regulator on 4-Dec-2014, the day before the SESC announced that it had recommended an Administrative Monetary Penalty Order against the asset manager.
AA & EA v SFC: application by Secretary for Justice to intervene
HK Court of First Instance, 13-Jan-2017
The SJ is granted permission to intervene because the applicants are challenging the constitutionality of Section 181 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance, which allows evidence to be obtained by compulsion.
Andrew Left and the right to be wrong
We take a close look at the Market Misconduct Tribunal's report on Mr Left's erroneous criticism of China Evergrande (3333), and what that says about free speech amongst participants in the HK market. (23-Oct-2016)
SFC directs suspension of China Fiber Optic (3777)
Company announcement, 13-Oct-2016
Activist Webb pushes for even more radical listing reforms
HK Standard, 7-Sep-2016
By "radical" they mean "rational".
Submission by Anthony Neoh, SC on listing regulation, 20-Aug-2016
Mr Neoh, who was Executive Chairman of the SFC from 1995 to 1998, has kindly shared his submission with Webb-site. (6-Sep-2016)
Submission to SFC-HKEX consultation on listing regulation
These are our views on SFC-HKEX proposals to reform regulation of listings and listed companies. If you are an investor who cares about the future of HK's markets, please submit your support. The proposals are better than the status quo, but a political compromise on the 2003 Expert Group recommendation to transfer regulation to the SFC, and that should be Plan B. (6-Sep-2016)
HK Court of First Instance, 8-Aug-2016
Leave is granted for substituted service of documents on the Japanese regulators by courier. It turns out that since the 1997 handover, requests made to the HKSAR Chief Secretary to serve a foreign state out of the jurisdiction are sent to the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which refuses to effect service through diplomatic channels, so they go nowhere.
Critics of China economy risk backlash from regulators
Straits Times Singapore, 5-May-2016
HK Court of First Instance, 5-May-2016
Ex-parte leave is granted to apply for judicial review of the SFC's decision to forward materials obtained under compulsion to the Japanese regulators.
Moody's says it will appeal against HK tribunal decision on "red flags" report
Reuters, 28-Apr-2016
HKEx cuts hit corporate governance of whole market
A circular slipped out by an HKEx subsidiary, HKSCC, will slash the effective voting window for general meetings, reducing the participation of institutional investors in important decisions such as acquisitions, connected transactions and dilutive share issues. We urge HKEx to rethink this deeply damaging move. (18-Apr-2016)
SFC directs suspension of Sound Global (0967)
Company announcement, 13-Apr-2016
This is very unusual and comes less than 3 months after the Stock Exchange allowed trading to resume. The last time the SFC suspended a stock was China High Precision Automation (0591) on 22-Aug-2012, which remains suspended for unknown reasons. The SFC should explain why, or require the company to do so.
SFAT's red flag on Moody's chills negative research
We look at what the SFAT's ruling and the SFC's action says about the future of Hong Kong as a place in which freedom of debate and negative criticism is becoming increasingly difficult. (8-Apr-2016)
SFC proposal sells HK short
We need your help! Support our submission to the SFC against draconian short-selling restrictions and reporting requirements in HK. Under 1 Country 2 Systems, there is no reason to follow China's demonisation of short-selling or to affirm that bias with a dragnet approach to reporting of short positions at 0.02% when long buyers only have to disclose at 5%. (28-Dec-2015)
SFC launches Women's Network
SFC, 5-Nov-2015
Given that 68% of SFC staff are women, including 47% of its senior staff, you have to wonder whether this is a solution in search of a problem. Perhaps they should set up a Men's Network to encourage more men to join the SFC, as 32% is woefully low.
HK regulator opposes proposal to allow dual-class shares
Bloomberg, 25-Jun-2015
SFC statement on SEHK's draft proposal on weighted voting rights
SFC, 25-Jun-2015
Hurray! This should kill it, as all changes to Listing Rules must be approved by the SFC. The SFC board "unanimously concluded that it does not support the draft proposal for primary listings with WVR structures". Now Government should recognise the huge conflict of interest in HKEx being a for-profit rule-maker and regulator. The Listing Division should be transferred to the SFC and merged with its Corporate Finance Division which oversees the Takeovers Code, as a Government-appointed Expert Group recommended in 2003.
Executive Director of Enforcement to leave SFC
SFC, 5-Jun-2015
So the SFC will be exercising less corporate Steward-ship then. He's joining former boss Martin Wheatley at the UK's Financial Conduct Authority.
SFC calls for proactive investors: Will more David Webbs emerge?
EJinsight, 30-May-2015
We hope so! Nice pic - taken during SARS in 2003.
Principles of Responsible Regulation
Webb-site calls on the SFC, Government and HKEx to get serious about facilitating investor stewardship. Principles of Responsible Ownership are only useful if regulators address the deficiencies in Hong Kong's governance framework for listed companies. We call on readers to make a submission and support our proposed Principles of Responsible Regulation. (26-May-2015)
Pacific Sun Advisors Ltd & Andrew Pieter Mantel v SFC
HK Court of Final Appeal, 20-Mar-2015
The appellants win. "There is nothing to suggest the legislative purpose of section 103(3)(k) is to protect retail investors from wasting their time or, alternatively, against having their investment appetites whetted." The CFA rules that if it can be shown that the issuer has adopted screening procedures to restrict the fund to "professional investors", then the exemption for advertisements "in respect of" such products applies, whether or not the advertisement makes the intent clear.
LCQ: introducing brokers or "runners" in HK
HK Legislative Council, 4-Feb-2015
SFC actions risk chilling critics
A New Year's Eve SFAT ruling reveals an SFC action against Moody's for its 2011 "red flags" report, following the recent launch of MMT action against a short-selling analyst. The SFC risks chilling publication of critical opinion and analysis - something we would hate to stop doing. We will be watching the cases carefully. (1-Jan-2015)
Recommendation for Administrative Monetary Payment Order for market manipulation by Areion Asset Management Co Ltd
Japan Securities & Exchange Surveillance Commission, 5-Dec-2014
The alleged manipulation relates to purchases of shares of Nitto Denko Corp by the Hareion Fund in the last 30 seconds prior to the stock's inclusion in a Nikkei index on 25-Sep-2013.
Minsheng tax grab, HKEx conflicts
Minsheng Bank (1988) just grabbed RMB115.6m from H-share holders and paid it to the Government with no good reason. We explain why bonus share issues by PRC issuers are not just silly but damaging to shareholder value. We also look at the conflict of interest for HKEx, which recently signed a strategic MoU with Minsheng and is pursuing relationships with other banks while acting as their listing regulator. The SFC should now take over regulation of these listings, but has declined to do so. (30-Jun-2014)
SFC v Ernst & Young
HK Court of First Instance, 23-May-2014
Why did the SFC kill HSBC's Stockmax?
Two years after the SFC shut retail investors out HSBC's automated trading system, an SFC announcement gives some indication of what happened, but still leaves retail investors wondering why a pioneering service which offered potential price improvement and competition for HKEx's monopoly stock market was not allowed. (20-Dec-2013)
Alibaba's spotlight on HK regulation
10 years after the Expert Group report, Alibaba's requests spotlight the unresolved conflict of interests of HKEx between profit and regulation, creating an opportunity for Government to put this back on the agenda. They should now follow through, strip HKEx of its regulatory role, create a Listings and Takeovers Authority under the SFC, and remove the special provisions of HKEx's own constitution which make it a Government-controlled company. (18-Sep-2013)
Regulator accuses justice department of failing to prosecute 'serious' cases
SFC, 31-Aug-2013
SFC statement on prosecutorial responsibility
SFC, 30-Aug-2013
Top prosecutor Kevin Zervos calls for curb on legal power of SFC
SFC, 17-Aug-2013
LCQ: regulation of dark pool trading
HK Government, 28-Nov-2012
SFC directs SEHK to suspend China High Precision (0591)
Company announcement, 22-Aug-2012
This is a very rare event, and comes after HKEx's Mark Dickens on 6-Aug publicly defended the decision to allow the stock to resume trading on 3-Aug, which itself broke with precedent of never commenting on individual cases. Given the high public interest in this case, where the company refused to share what it called "state secrets" with its auditor, the SFC should now explain why it has intervened.
Court of First Instance dismisses judicial review application against SFC
SFC, 4-May-2012
HK Court of First Instance, 17-Apr-2012
SFC announces appointment to Products Advisory Committee
SFC, 12-Jan-2012
45 days late! If a listed company took this long it would be in trouble. Fidelity's Kerry Ching Kim-wai replaced Invesco's Desmond Ng Ka-yiu.
Donald decrees: HKEx will move
A little-noticed paragraph of the recent Policy Address dictates that HKEx will move to the offices to be developed on the site of the West Wing of the Central Government Offices. What does this say about the Government's attitude to HKEx? (14-Nov-2011)
People wanted by the SFC - can you help?
SFC, 31-Oct-2011
Chaoda (0682): MMT proceedings against Chairman and Executive Director
Company announcement, 30-Sep-2011
Under the Listing Rules, these proceedings should have been announced when they were first known to the directors concerned. The referral by the Financial Secretary to the MMT was dated 25-Jul-2011, so they knew by then. The SFC also knew: they investigate cases before referring them to the Financial Secretary. The SFC should have informed the Stock Exchange which would then require the company to announce the FS's referral to the MMT. What we have here is a failure to communicate.
New Webb-site database feature
Check out our new league table of SFC licensees per firm. More statistics to follow. (27-Sep-2011)
Real Gold (0246) v SFC: costs
SFC, 8-Sep-2011
During the hearing, RGM withdrew its application for judicial review. RGM has obtained the SFC's assurance that it will employ the same sealing protocol in relation to back-up copies of data seized from the IT service provider as it did with the originals seized from the company's office, which will give RGM the opportunity to claim legal professional privilege.
SFC directs SEHK to suspend trading in Greenheart (0094)
Company announcement, 29-Aug-2011
Real Gold (0246) writ for judicial review of SFC decisions
HK Court of First Instance, 23-Aug-2011
This reveals that the SFC searched the premises on 6-Jul-2011.
SFC's neighbours will celebrate
The SFC, to the relief of fellow tenants, is reportedly set to move out of Chater House in June 2013. We ask why the police and their masters have been so reluctant to enforce the Noise Control Ordinance against protestors, and what tenants and passers by at their reported new home can look forward to. The landlord, controlled by HK's biggest tycoon, has 7 listed companies and 2 REITs in the group, all ultimately regulated by the SFC, so there is a risk of future perceived conflicts of interest which it would have been better to avoid. (22-Aug-2011)
Nine Dragons spotlights SFC regulation of CRAs
Today's plunge in Nine Dragons (2689), sparked by a withdrawal of a credit rating, raises questions about the new SFC regulations of Credit Rating Agencies. CRAs have privileged access to inside information and a contractual relationship with issuers. The SFC should prohibit them from publishing price-sensitive news during market hours. (Updated 19-Jun-2011) (14-Jun-2011)
David Tsien Pak Cheong v SFC: costs
SFAT, 18-Feb-2011
Court of Final Appeal discharges interim injunction obtained by SFC
SFC, 6-Dec-2010
Kayden Ltd v SFC
HK Court of Final Appeal, 6-Dec-2010
SFC/HKMA settlement agreement with 16 banks over Lehman Minibonds, 22-Jul-2009
Company filing, 8-Oct-2010
David Tsien Pak Cheong v SFC
SFAT, 22-Sep-2010
"We are satisfied that prohibition for life in the present case is manifestly excessive".
High Court rules SFC disciplinary process fairJudgment
SFC, 23-Aug-2010
Note: from the facts in the judgment (paragraphs 4 and 7) and a subsequent SFC release, "A" is almost certainly Mr Chan Hon Man, ex-Phillip Securities. The SFC announced a settlement on 31-Aug-2010 in which Mr Chan was fined $134,580 and prohibited from re-entering the industry for 18 months, as originally proposed.
The SFC and prospectus liability
The SFC complained yesterday about deteriorating standards of sponsors' work in listing applications. Some of the blame lies with the SFC for abandoning in 2006 proposals to reform the law on prospectus liability. Until investors can effectively sue for a fraudulent prospectus, creating a stronger deterrent, the situation is unlikely to improve. (27-Jul-2010)
Former bank employee banned for 5 years for forging signaturesSFAT decision
SFC, 19-Jul-2010
The Tribunal also ruled that when findings of fact are appealed to the SFAT, the burden of proof lies with the SFC, noting that the SFC makes its findings without allowing the cross-examination of witnesses or access to their full statements.
SFC welcomes reappointment of Angelina Lee as NED...
SFC, 16-Jul-2010
...well, we suppose someone's got to. She's also an NED of Henderson Land and Cheung Kong Infrastructure, for whom her law firm does business, and Great Eagle and Tom Group.
Ms Ip Chun Chun v SFC
SFAT, 16-Jul-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)
Dr Wise issues dumb advice on rights issues
SFC, 25-May-2010
He says "but if you decide to let your rights lapse, then you will not need to take any action unless you want to sell your rights in the market." - duh, and why would you give something up rather than sell it for value? Let's change that to "If you decide not to take up your rights, then you should sell them in the market for any value you can get" and we might add "because the company will not do this for you. This is not like the UK, where companies are required to protect inactive shareholders by selling unexercised rights and sending them the proceeds".
Shek Lai San v SFC & HKMA
HK Court of First Instance, 30-Apr-2010
A Lehman Minibond victim unsuccessfully seeks leave for judicial review of the SFC and HKMA's decision to reach a settlement agreement with 15 banks.
The Post Office Investment Fund
Following yesterday's Audit Commission report on Hongkong Post, we look at the potential closure of rural post offices, removal of its mail monopoly and universal service obligation, and its cash-rich balance sheet and prime property. We also discuss the Government's tendency to stash pots of money away in different bodies rather than pass recurrent spending through the budget and the Legislative Council and manage its liquid funds centrally. (22-Apr-2010)
Proposed law sells HK short
If the Government consulted the public on a speed limit of 50km/h, then set it at 4km/h, wouldn't you wonder why? That's what the SFC has done after a consultation which from the outset was a solution in search of a non-existent problem. We call on the SFC to withdraw or amend its proposed filing requirements for 0.02% short positions and to focus with Government on filling the gap in the existing law by requiring public disclosure of short positions, including derivatives, at the same level as long positions, currently 5%. What do you think? Take our poll! (7-Mar-2010)
Rusal and the retail investor
Reports say the SFC wants to prohibit the retail offering of Rusal and/or require the company to adopt a massive board lot for trading in its shares. Both measures would in fact increase the risk for retail investors, as we explain. The SFC should stick to the principles of a disclosure-based market and focus on legislative reform to increase the deterrent to prospectus fraud. (20-Dec-2009)
"C", "E" and "F" v SFC
HK Court of Final Appeal, 11-Dec-2009
"C"=Lu Ruifeng, "E"=Clear Excel Ltd, "F"=Kayden Ltd
HKEx: no reform to placing mandate...or anything else
HKEx's decision to leave the Rules on dilutive issue mandates unchanged is an insult to investor opinion, expressed by their voting on this matter. Since the 2008 blackout saga, the Government and its regulators are unwilling to upset the local business elite with reforms. As China heads for an international currency, the tycoons are not as important to the market's future as HKEx seems to think they are. (27-Oct-2009)
SDI breaches go dark at SFC
The SFC has quietly stopped disclosing details of successful prosecutions for failure to disclose shareholdings, including the name of the offender and the company involved. This is important information for investors, and we urge them to reinstate it. We also look at its questionable and inconsistent policy of redacting names from historic press releases. (6-Oct-2009)
SFC v "C","D","E" and "F"
HK Court of Appeal, 17-Jul-2009
"C"=Lu Ruifeng, "D"=Tin Yin Kwan, "E"=Clear Excel Ltd, "F"=Kayden Ltd
Court of Appeal confirms SFC's power to freeze assets in suspected insider dealing cases
SFC, 16-Jul-2009
No futures for foreigners - SFC
The SFC, under pressure from vested interests, has put on indefinite hold proposals to allow remote participants (overseas brokers and traders) in HK's futures market, leaving it looking protectionist and backward. (11-Jul-2009)
Ground-breaking Court of Appeal decision
SFC, 29-May-2009
SFC v "C","D","E" and "F"
HK Court of Appeal, 22-May-2009
"C"=Lu Ruifeng, "D"=Tin Yin Kwan, "E"=Clear Excel Ltd, "F"=Kayden Ltd
Koon Wing Yee v SFC
HK Court of Appeal, 7-May-2009
Patrick To Shu Fai v SFC
HK Court of Final Appeal, 26-Mar-2009
SFC to consider mandatory cooling-off period
HK Government, 5-Nov-2008 recommended by and widely supported in our opinion poll.
Koon Wing Yee v SFC
HK Court of Appeal, 29-Oct-2008
Court of Appeal upholds SFC's investigation powers
SFC, 24-Oct-2008
SFC v "C","D","E" and "F"
HK Court of First Instance, 22-Oct-2008
"C"=Lu Ruifeng, "D"=Tin Yin Kwan, "E"=Clear Excel Ltd, "F"=Kayden Ltd
Lessons from Lehman Minibonds looks beyond the Lehman minibonds fiasco and proposes three steps to reform the regulatory system for the sale of financial products. Without such reforms, there is a risk of either repeated crises or an outright ban on the sale of such products. Tell us what you think in our opinion poll. (20-Oct-2008)
Court of Appeal confirms SFC's investigative powers
SFC, 30-Jul-2008
IRD Senior Assessor and SFC Senior Director of Enforcement charged for alleged HK$1.3m housing fraud
ICAC, 12-Jul-2008
Mr To Shu Fai & Daido Group Ltd v SFC
HK Court of First Instance, 1-Feb-2008
Hong Kong Forex Investment Ltd v SFC
HK Court of Appeal, 29-Jan-2008
SFC wins challenge to its investigation powers in Court of First Instance
SFC, 5-Nov-2007
Koon Wing Yee v SFC
HK Court of First Instance, 2-Nov-2007
Court of First Instance affirms SFC’s power to audio record investigation interviews
SFC, 2-Nov-2007
Person avoiding interview by SFC found in contempt of court and arrested
SFC, 1-Nov-2007
Building a Value Proposition for HK
HK Chief Executive Donald Tsang recently convened an Economic Summit of 33 people, which spawned 4 focus groups, including one on financial services, which in turn produced 3 working groups, one of which, headed by HKEx government-appointed director and Chairman Ronald Arculli, has sought submissions on the markets. This is our submission. (4-Oct-2006)
The SFC Chairmanship: Submission to the Panel on Financial Affairs
The Government is proposing to create a non-executive, token-payment Chairmanship at the SFC. In a submission invited by the Legislative Council's Panel on Financial Affairs, we argue that this would be dangerous and wrong in principle. (20-Dec-2004)
SFC directs suspension of Radford (0901)
Company announcement, 22-Oct-2003
A rare intervention in what is obviously a bubble stock. "The SFC has expressed concerns that there is no orderly and fair market in the Company's shares and that the interest of the investing public may be prejudiced, if trading were to continue."
Hong Kong: System under Scrutiny
Asiamoney, 27-Mar-2003
HKEx responds to the Report by the Expert Group
Company media release, 21-Mar-2003
Financial Secretary's response to Expert Group recommendationsTranscript
HK Government, 21-Mar-2003
"We will work with relevant parties, particularly SFC and HKEx, to draw up a programme for implementing the Expert Group's recommendations for the transfer of listing functions. We will put forward a proposal to the Executive Council as soon as possible."
Report by the Expert Group on securities and futures market regulatory structureMedia release
HK Government, 21-Mar-2003
Listing Chaos
We review a chaotic month on the Government policy front in general and the HKEx in particular, and look at the broader issues surrounding the current proposals, or rather the lack of them. Merging two issuer-dominated Listing Committees together will not address the needs of investors, while the Government ducks the real problem of having a for-profit toothless regulator rather than SFC regulation and statutory backing for the Listing Rules. (28-Jul-2002)
Government Stock Market Intervention
A commentary on the Hong Kong government's controversial intervention in the local stock market, which began on 14-Aug-98. This article covers our various activities in this area in 1998-1999. was launched in Nov-1998. (31-Jan-1999)
Investor urges prosecution of Government
South China Morning Post, 16-Nov-1998
This article is from the South China Morning Post, 16-Nov-1998, regarding our correspondence with the SFC on the Government's market intervention.
Secrecy is the enemy of free-market philosophy
This letter, published in the South China Morning Post on 4-Sep-1998, estimated that the government had spent HK$120bn on its intervention. Later, on 26-Oct-98, the Government finally disclosed its holdings and that it had spent $118bn. (4-Sep-1998)
Yam rejects accusations of creating false market through manipulationOur letter
South China Morning Post, 20-Aug-1998
An article from the South China Morning Post regarding our letter of the same date.

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