HK court finds former bourse exec not guilty of graft
Reuters, 3-Dec-2021
Former HKEX executive and consultant acquitted of corruption charges
South China Morning Post, 3-Dec-2021
HK's cash for IPOs bribery trial enters the final stages
Asian Corporate Governance Association, 21-Sep-2021
Kudos to ACGA's Vivian Yau for sitting through 6 weeks of evidence and providing this detailed account.
The Main Board profit requirement - for whom?
Webb-site responds to the HKEX proposal which further raises the barriers to entry for smaller companies on its monopoly stockmarket and reduces investor choice. Help us out and add your voice! (14-Jan-2021)
Eugene Yeoh Kim Loong, ex-HKEX, and Richard Lum Chor Wah, charged with bribery and MIPO over IPO applicationsMr Lum's directorships
ICAC, 25-Mar-2020
One IPO is named: Shen You (8377). That was sponsored by Huabang Corporate Finance Ltd. Who knew? Regarding Mr Lum, he's been a director of 12 HK-listed companies at various times since 1991. Our data show that on average, shares of those companies during his tenure under-performed the market by 52.5% per year. He resigned from the last 2 on 19-Sep-2019 to "devote more time to his personal commitments".
Getting to 601: How Beijing controls the HK Chief Executive election
Carrie Lam continues to peddle the lie that the Chief Executive Election Committee is "broadly representative", often unchallenged by foreign media. We explain exactly how it is rigged, and how with enough political courage, she could unrig it and introduce democracy through local legislation, without Beijing's approval. (28-Jan-2020)
HKEX's Li apologizes after remarks on China and HK
Bloomberg, 1-Nov-2019
To whom? He now says the design of One Country Two Systems is perfect, and it's only a problem of implementation. A bit like the Titanic then.
HKEX chief says China's lack of trust hurt HK experiment
Bloomberg, 31-Oct-2019
ICAC, SFC investigate alleged corruption of listing applications at HKEX (0388)ICAC announcement
SFC, 26-Jun-2019
Webb-site first heard the allegations on 30-May and they were reported in media since then, so evidence may have been lost before the SFC and ICAC launched raids on 2 sponsors, 2 listed companies and a printing firm from 23-Jun onwards. A former Joint Head of the IPO Vetting Team and 2 of his associates have been arrested by the ICAC. You may wonder why a for-profit listed company is in the "business" of regulation. That's because the HK Government rejected the advice of its Expert Group to remove the conflict in 2003. The HK listing process also involves a high degree of subjectivity on "suitability". Any such process invites corruption.
HKEX (0388) v Frank Shi Huaifang
HK Court of First Instance, 27-May-2019
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)
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
HK activist's jab at bourse starts US$228m fall
Bloomberg, 19-Nov-2018
You have been warned…
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)
HKEX: shoot patients to prevent illness
HKEX's proposal to suspend and then delist companies with disclaimed audits works against investor interests in several ways while doing nothing to address the root causes of corporate illness. In a partial revival of the 2002 Penny Stocks proposals, the self-interest of HKEX in ditching unprofitable business cannot be ignored. We again call for the regulatory function to be transferred to the SFC and HKEX's monopoly to be abolished. Only when there is competition can they pick and choose their customers. HKEX fails to name the 43 firms that would have been suspended on their 2017 audits. Answers by Tuesday morning, please! (30-Sep-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)
Hong Kong's not-so-free economy
The US-based Heritage Foundation has, as always, ranked HK as the freest economy in the World. For once, the Government doesn't accuse foreign forces of interfering in HK's internal affairs. But this rosy view is not held by those who take the time to study the domestic economy. Here are a few things that Heritage may have overlooked. (4-Feb-2018)
Webb on Reuters TV re second-class shares and Communist Party strategy
Reuters, 10-Jan-2018
Webb-site upgrades CCASS Analysis, spotlights share pledges
New features in the Webb-site CCASS Analysis System (WCAS) allow investors and regulators to see the largest daily CCASS movements across the market and the history of large moves in each stock and by each broker. Movements of large blocks into CCASS or between brokers without a corresponding transaction often indicate a pledging of shares for loans, which are not disclosed due to inadequate law and Listing Rules. (19-Dec-2017)
Webb on "The Pulse" re the Enigma Network (video)
RTHK, 16-Dec-2017
Submission on Capital Raisings by Listed Issuers
Webb-site responds to HKEX's consultation which, while positive, ignores several key issues and does not go far enough in others. Have your say! (24-Nov-2017)
HKEX trading floor to close on 30th anniversary of Black Monday
South China Morning Post, 15-Oct-2017
Lovely timing. After the crash on 19-Oct-1987, the Council of the Stock Exchange closed it for 4 days - that was the last time it closed apart from weather, weekends and holidays. This time, it's closing for good.
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)
Illegal short sales under scrutiny in HK's 'Enigma' Crash
Bloomberg, 30-Jun-2017
If Charles Li has any evidence of this, he should produce it. To us, this looks like an attempt to deflect the blame from the systemic failure of the for-profit regulator, HKEX, to produce and enforce adequate governance provisions in the Listing Rules. HKEX should no longer be a regulator.
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
Webb on "Newswrap" re HKEX third board and GEM
RTHK, 16-Jun-2017
Shareholder activist David Webb says the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which has proposed setting up a new board to open ways for more mainland tech companies to list in the city, is going in completely the wrong direction. He said Hong Kong should have a single board, rather than confusing the market with more boards. He told Jim Gould that a simpler structure should also have better disclosure and governance requirements.
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.
Shenzhen Connect southbound tracking
The Webb-site CCASS Analysis System shows the daily net change in the aggregate stock balances held by mainland investors via Shenzhen Connect. Movements correspond to trades 2 days earlier. (8-Dec-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)
Webb on CNBC re listing regulatory reform
CNBC, 16-Aug-2016
Presentation on HK securities market reform
These are the slides from a presentation by David Webb to accountants hosted by legislator Kenneth Leung this evening. (16-May-2016)
SEHK tackles bonus issues, misses the obvious
The Stock Exchange, in a guidance letter tonight, says it will reject listing of bonus issues of 200% or more, because they tie up too much of the float between the ex-date and distribution date. They propose stock splits as an alternative, but they omit the faster and better way to reduce board lot value, which HKEx itself used in 2008. (27-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)
Preventing cash shells
Webb-site proposes a new Listing Rule to prevent cash shells. The Cash Shell Test introduces equity discipline for existing companies and provides clarity for those proposing transactions and fund-raising. It should be welcomed by investors, regulators, issuers and their advisers. HKEx needs to build a proper sanitation system for this village rather than dig a new cesspit. (3-Mar-2016)
HKEx and the kind of innovation we don't need
Has HKEx CEO Charles Li learned nothing from last year? A third-class board for third-class companies is not the way to go. It's time to merge the GEM and Main Board and execute the Expert Group recommendation of 2003, moving the Listing Rules regulation to the SFC. One Board, One Rule. (2-Feb-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)
HKEx signs non-binding MoU with itself
Company media release, 21-Oct-2015
How contrived - to wave the red flag while President Xi is on his royal visit to the UK, HKEx announces a deal between its wholly-owned subsidiaries.
HKEx drops second-class shares proposal
SEHK, 5-Oct-2015
HKEx has finally thrown in the towel on its attempts to list second-class shares. Corporate governance was already bad enough without making it even easier to abuse minority shareholders. Charles Li’s campaign to do this exposed the blatant conflict of interests in the Exchange being a for-profit regulator. This conflict should now be addressed by transplanting the listing function to the SFC, the statutory regulator. The Listing Committee, dominated by issuer interests, needs radical reform too.
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.
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)
Southbound net trades on 8-Apr, settled 10-Apr
Southbound net settlements on 9-Apr for trades on 2-Apr
Bookmark this page and check it daily - enter any date you like in the "to" box. Settlements are normally 2 working days after transactions. (10-Apr-2015)
Government cites Webb-site board stats without attribution
The Government has cited statistics from Webb-site Who's Who without attribution, instead attributing them to SEHK. You're welcome. (25-Mar-2015)
SFC CEO's opening remarks at media lunch
SFC, 19-Mar-2015
Comments on what HKEx euphemistically calls "Weighted Voting Rights" or what we call "second-class shares".
Top stocks on the Southbound through train by value, 5-Feb-2015
Visit Webb-site Who's Who daily for updates. CCASS positions lag transactions by 2 days. (6-Feb-2015)
HKEx consults on Volatility Control Mechanism and closing auction
HKEX, 16-Jan-2015
Finally, they are including a random closing time in the closing auction to deter manipulation of the closing price. This is something that Webb-site founder David Webb, then an INED of HKEx, recommended in 2007 before the launch of the first closing auction, but the board rejected it.
Petition filed with SEHK and Listing Committee
We close and submit the petition on 1-share-1-vote, and call on the Listing Committee to get back to improving the quality of HK's market rather than trying to degrade it, starting with 4 key issues. (2-Jan-2015)
An aerial tour of HK's monopolies and anti-competitive practices
The slides from a presentation by Webb-site founder David Webb to the Asian Competition Forum at Polytechnic University this morning. When you get to slide 30, click the box to launch the online video. (9-Dec-2014)
Blackrock's submission to HKEx on "Weighted Voting Rights"
Company, 30-Nov-2014
"In BlackRock’s view, under no circumstances should the Exchange allow companies to use weighted voting right (WVR) structures."
HK Govt proposes to exempt HKEx and subsidiaries from competition law
HK Legislative Council, 24-Nov-2014
Comment: this is outrageous. There is no reason why the stock and futures exchanges, and their clearing houses, should be exempt from the law. These are commercial activities and HKEx should not be allowed to defend their monopolies with anti-competitive practices. HK Govt owns nearly 6% of HKEx.
Webb-site CCASS Analysis shows HK through-train holdings and changes
The CCASS data shows total positions held by mainland investors on the through-train from Shanghai, which are all held through China Securities Depository & Clearing. Settlement dates are 2 days after trade dates. Click the column-headings to sort. Click "Changes" to see the daily movements. (23-Nov-2014)
Submission to HKEx on Weighted Voting Rights
Webb-site calls on HKEx to keep 1-share-1-vote and not to introduce second-class shares or allow companies to install trapdoors in their articles of association. We also launch a petition - please sign it if you agree! (21-Nov-2014)
HKEx signs MoU with CCB (0939)
Company media release, 15-Sep-2014
This MoU, for "strategic cooperation" again puts HKEx into a conflict of interest with its role as listing regulator of CCB, as it has done with China Minsheng Banking (1988). The SFC should take over as listing regulator of both banks.
The ruling: LME is an organ of the UK Government, and was not engaging in "commercial" activity
US Court: Southern District, New York, 25-Aug-2014
The judge grants sovereign immunity and says: "Whether the LME manipulated its load-out rules to make more money is irrelevant to whether it was a 'commercial' activity as defined".
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)
HKEx (0388) and China Minsheng Bank (1988) sign MOUListing Rules Chapter 38
Company media release, 23-Apr-2014
Comment: now that HKEx is in business with Minsheng Bank (1988), it should stop being the listing regulator of that company and the SFC should take over, under the conflict of interest provisions of Listing Rule 38.16. The SFC is already the listing regulator of HKEx.
Give public access to ALPs
We need your help! The SFC is proposing to ban retail investors from accessing Alternative Liquidity Providers, which could provide faster and better execution than just placing the order with SEHK. Webb-site urges the SFC to give the public the same options that institutional investors enjoy. They almost did with HSBC's ill-fated Stockmax. We also urge the Government to abolish SEHK's statutory monopoly and allow competition to drive down fees and innovate. (15-Apr-2014)
Survey on Alibaba & non-standard shareholding structures
Asian Corporate Governance Association, 15-Apr-2014
Managers of over US$14tn respond that if HK allows non-standard shareholding structures then it can expect a discount of 13% to be applied to the market.
Exchange transfers regulatory oversight of RUSAL to SFC
SEHK, 24-Dec-2013
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)
We had a dream too!
Following the hallucinations in HKEx non-elected director and CEO Charles Li Xiao Jia's blog yesterday, Webb-site had a dream last night! (26-Sep-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)
HKEx announces appointments to various Committees
Company media release, 25-Apr-2013
None of the 5 directors on the ESG Committee was elected by shareholders. Only 1 of the 5 directors on the Remuneration Committee was elected by shareholders. Only 1 of the 6 members of the Listing Nominating Committee (which appoints the Listing Committee) was elected by shareholders. The rest are Government-appointed.
Low turnout at HKEx (0388) AGM
Company announcement, 24-Apr-2013
Only 30.52% of eligible shares were voted, presumably including the 5.80% owned by the Government. So only 26.24% of eligible non-Government shares were voted. Perhaps institutions have already voted with their feet.
HKEx chief calls for muddier water in China
Company web site, 2-Apr-2013
Charles Li of HKEx (0388): in China, "there is very little flexibility, if any, for broker-dealers to move funds across client accounts, let alone embezzle funds or engage in other malpractice...there is no incentive for financial institutions to innovate". At Webb-site, we think that embezzlement of client funds and other malpractices are the kind of innovative broking we can do without. Does he also think that more listed company disclosure would reduce the potential for "innovative" insider dealing by making the water "too clean"?
Hopewell Highway's RMB shares (80737) drain to HKD counter (737)
That sucking sound you hear is the noise of Hopewell Highway's RMB-traded shares (80737) draining away as people convert them to the HKD-traded counter (0737). After 6 days, 15% of the stock in CCASS has moved to the other counter. This is the first RMB-traded ordinary share, and it underlines the pointlessness of trading with a non-convertible currency in an international market like HK. (6-Nov-2012)
HKEx's new "Chief Regulatory Officer"
Company media release, 8-Oct-2012
Comment: the Head of Listing is a key regulatory role and should be a full-time job. We don't see how one person can be both Head of Listing and also carry responsbility for the regulatory, legal and compliance functions of all the other businesses in HKEx, including the HKFE futures exchange, 3 clearing houses (options, futures, stocks) and soon, an overseas commodity exchange. Some clarity is needed.
HKEx RMB equity Trading Support Facility seeks a reason to exist
Company media release, 30-Jul-2012
Having had found no companies willing to do an RMB IPO in HK (and who would be?), HKEx extends its forex system to the only REIT and the only ETF currently quoted in RMB.
At last, HKEx confirms it is involved in the LME bidding process
Company announcement, 30-Apr-2012
This follows a complaint by Webb-site to the SFC on 25-Apr that despite extensive leaks and a slump in the share price since the first leak on 18-Feb, HKEx had failed to issue any announcement under Listing Rule 13.09(1) regarding its involvement in the LME process.
HKEx preps for placing
Apart from seeking a steep pay hike, the HKEx board is seeking to double its mandate to issue shares for cash without a rights issue, at double the discount of last year's mandate. Couple that with the leaked bid for the London Metal Exchange, and you can see where this is going. We urge shareholders to protect their rights by voting down the general mandate. If HKEx proceeds with LME (and we query why), then a rights issue can fund it. (15-Mar-2012)
HKEx's yuan-denominated gaffes
Yesterday's comments by HKEx's CEO indicate a fundamental misconception driving its obsessive attempts to price its products in a currency which is not freely convertible. (20-Jan-2012)
Francis Kwan Hung Sang v HKEx
HK Court of First Instance, 12-Dec-2011
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)
HSBC's StockMax becomes StockMin
It was a false dawn for retail investors - the SFC has caved in to pressure and amended the license conditions of HSBC's Stockmax Crossing platform to restrict it to "professional investors" only. History will prove them wrong. (14-Aug-2011)
StockMax and competition for HKEx
We look at the implications of HSBC's proposed StockMax dark pool with retail investor participation. It's a wake-up call to the Government, SFC and HKEx that we need to move forward with allowing competition to innovate services both inside and outside HKEx. We propose measures to achieve this while preserving fair and orderly markets. (7-Aug-2011)
Reforming HK Markets - the Political Realities
A presentation by David Webb to the FIX Protocol conference. (25-May-2011)
LCQ: the competitiveness of the Hong Kong stock exchange
HK Government, 6-Apr-2011
Comment: nothing prevents a "flash crash" in HK, and indeed we had a mini-version of this in HSBC on 9-Mar-2009. There are no circuit-breakers on SEHK. Regarding trading spreads, HKEx U-turned on that in 2007 and there has been no progress since then.
HKEx adopts VAMPIRE mandate
Webb-site is pleased to note that HKEx, seeking its first general mandate in 7 years, is now complying with VAMPIRE limits of 5% issued for cash and a maximum 5% discount. Having set an example, SEHK should now amend the Listing Rules and bring the market up to international best practice. HKEx has also unbundled amendments to the Articles of Association, and is not repeating last year's fiasco. (29-Mar-2011)
Response to SEHK on Corporate Governance Consultation
Webb-site publishes a detailed response to the Exchange's consultation on the corporate governance rules and code, including recommendations for fundamental reform and the results of the opinion poll on INEDs. (25-Mar-2011)
HKEx welcomes iBonds, hopes to list them
Company media release, 23-Feb-2011
It would be nice if the bonds were actually admitted to CCASS and traded on the stock exchange, rather than the phoney "listings" that all the existing Government bonds have, where there is no trading on HKEx and retail investors are held captive by the banks in the over-the-counter market.
The three wise monkeys of HK boards
SEHK has proposed minor reforms to the composition of boards which completely miss the core issue - INEDs are only as independent and competent as the controlling shareholder wants them to be, as long as he or it votes on the INED elections. We call for independent directors to be independently-elected. Tell us what you think!. Read our article and then take our poll on INEDs. (15-Feb-2011)
Campaigner Webb sees flawed boards
HK Standard, 9-Feb-2011
Truly pointless bonus issues and splits
Why do boards propose bonus issues and stock splits? We look at the drawbacks and the false and misleading reasons often advanced for such actions. If liquidity is really a concern, then a reduction in board lot size is the simplest and best way to go. Splits and bonuses are more a sign of desperation than of a sophisticated, value-focused board. (27-Dec-2010)
HKEx screws up voting at Hang Lung Properties (0101) AGMCCASS analysis
HKEX, 4-Nov-2010
HKSCC is owned by HKEx and operates the Central Clearing and Automated Settlement System (CCASS). Looking at the Webb-site CCASS Analysis, we can see that the 873.982m missing votes exactly matches the number of shares held by subsidiaries of Hang Lung Group Ltd (0010) in their Investor Participant accounts. Ironically, HKEx Chairman Ronald Arculli has been an INED of HLP for 30 years.
Webb on "Hong Kong Today" re trading hours poll
RTHK, 28-Oct-2010
Trading hours poll results
We analyse the results of the Webb-site opinion poll on trading hours, which will be submitted to HKEx today. The results favour a trading day from 09:30 to 16:30 with a 1-hour lunch break. (27-Oct-2010)
Hong Kong's broker siesta
We need your help! Read our article on the debate over HK stock exchange trading hours, and then take our opinion poll. The results will be submitted to HKEx, without names. (14-Sep-2010)
Arculli's rant against competition for HKEx
The HKEx Chairman has apparently launched a campaign to exempt it from the Competition law currently going through LegCo. We dissect his factually flawed and technophobic arguments. Investors in HKEx should not expect its monopolistic profit margin to continue forever. Let the competition begin. (29-Jul-2010)
HKEx shareholders vote against written-resolutions plan
HK Standard, 23-Apr-2010
Shareholders veto HKEx resolution
Following our recommendation, Webb-site.com is pleased to note that investors have sent a clear message, voting by 70.2% against a proposal to allow the company to bypass board meetings and pass resolutions with a simple majority of signatures. We now call on HKEx to make this right by amending the Listing Rules to prohibit such articles, which would weaken corporate governance. (22-Apr-2010)
Law Society: HKEx proposal is untenable and sets a bad example in corporate governance
Law Society of HK, 19-Apr-2010
HKEx responds to criticism of proposed resolution
Company media release, 12-Apr-2010
Comment: Webb-site.com affirms its recommendation to vote against item 7. Contrary to HKEx's suggestion, it is not a "common provision" to allow a simple majority of directors to approve things without a board meeting, nor should it be. And once resolved, a lot of things cannot be undone, including the approval of contracts which are then signed and legally binding.
HKEx AGM: veto item 7
We urge shareholders of HKEx (0388) to veto a proposed change to the Articles of Association which would damage good governance and facilitate the stifling of dissenting views. We speak from first-hand experience. HKEx is setting a bad example to the companies it regulates, and the rot should stop now. In passing, we also cast an eye on the ongoing CITIC Pacific case. (11-Apr-2010)
Sanyuan Group Ltd v SEHK
HK Court of Final Appeal, 3-Dec-2009
Statement regarding the shares of Asian Citrus
HKEX, 26-Nov-2009
There you go, they DO comment on individual cases. Occasionally.
Sanyuan Group Ltd v The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd
HK Court of Appeal, 28-Sep-2009
Sanyuan Group Ltd v The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd
HK Court of Appeal, 21-Jul-2009
Moses Cheng's appointments
A Government press release claims his appointments comply with the 6-board rule - but we count 8 - and a 9th was quietly dropped. He also finds time to hold down 10 other non-executive directorships. (19-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)
Henry Fan takes leave as Government-appointed director of HKEx during CITIC Pacific investigation
HKEX, 22-Oct-2008
Sanyuan Group Ltd v The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd
HK Court of First Instance, 4-Jun-2008
Stepping backwards
Economist, 29-May-2008
HK financier-turned-activist still fighting after quitting stock exchange
Associated Press, 21-May-2008
Webb on "Backchat" re his resignation from HKEx
RTHK, 19-May-2008
Donald Rumsfeld launches bid for vacant HKEx board seat
Webb resigns from HK Exchange, launching broadside
Forbes, 16-May-2008
Hong Kong loses an independent watchdog
Asia Sentinel, 16-May-2008
David Webb resigns as HKEx director
Company announcement, 15-May-2008
Bob Bunker runs for HKEx Board
Webb-site.com is pleased to announce that Bob Bunker has accepted a nomination to run in the contest for election as a director of HKEx. Two board seats are available. We recommend shareholders vote in favour of Mr Bunker and incumbent director Mr Bill Kwok Chi-piu, and against all other candidates. We also update you on the Ocean Grand case. (31-Mar-2008)
Intervention Returns
We look at the HK Government's surprise disclosure of 5.9% of HKEx, where it might go next, and how it quietly scrapped a 5% benchmark on the Exchange Fund weighting in HK stocks, leaving it as the 2nd-biggest investor after the mainland Government. With about HK$1 trillion of surplus liquid assets, whatever happened to Donald Tsang's "big market, small government"? We call on the Government to return its surplus capital to the people with a 10-year program of deliberate budgeted deficits. (10-Sep-2007)
Replay of investor call with David Webb, INED of HKEx, hosted by Citicorp, 17:00
Results of AGM
Company announcement, 26-Apr-2006
Loh Joins Webb in Run for HKEx Elections
MEDIA RELEASE: Webb-site.com is pleased to announce that Christine Loh, Chief Executive of Civic Exchange, has accepted a nomination to run for election as a director of HKEx, increasing the representation of investor interests on the board of HKEx. (7-Apr-2006)
Hong Kong's casino
Never mind Lantau, Hong Kong does have a fully operational casino with a legally protected monopoly. We comment on the M-chip craze and the hypocrisy that permits the public to take risks in the markets and on property, but prohibits risk-taking in other forms of gambling outside of the Jockey Club monopoly. We call for liberalisation of the gambling sector. (24-Nov-2004)
Time to Close the Floor
It's been nine years in the making, but trades which touch the floor of the Stock Exchange have now dwindled to 3% of market volume, and the lease expires on Halloween 2005. It is time to close the floor and celebrate the fact that we have an electronic order-driven market rather than a living museum. Anyone for go-karting? (12-Oct-2004)
Almost No Mandate
The tide is turning in Hong Kong's battle for pre-emptive rights. In a close shareholder vote, the board of HKEx almost lost its general mandate to issue new shares, by asking for a 20% cash mandate, against the recommendations of Project Vampire. And this is the company whose subsidiary makes the Listing Rules which allow such mandates in the first place. Things weren't much better over at Bank of East Asia, either. (5-Apr-2004)
Results of AGM
Company announcement, 31-Mar-2004
HKEx voting recommendations
At last year's AGM, Webb-site.com editor David Webb was elected to the board of HKEx on a shareholder nomination, a first for a HK-listed company, we think. Now we give you our voting recommendations for the 2004 AGM, and the reasons. (14-Mar-2004)
Liu Jinbao resigns as NED of HKEx
HKEX, 13-Jun-2003
Webb Takes Governance Fight to Hong Kong Exchange
Bloomberg, 21-May-2003
Keeping them honest
HK Standard, 17-Apr-2003
Webb gives something back
HK Standard, 17-Apr-2003
HKEx AGM Shake-up
We look back on an eventful evening on the floor of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, as shareholders seized their first chance to shake up the board of HKEx, electing the first investors, including Webb-site.com editor David Webb, to serve on the board, and rejecting 5 out of the 8 broker candidates, 3 of whom were incumbent directors recommended by the board. (16-Apr-2003)
Shareholder activist joins H.K. bourse
International Herald Tribune, 16-Apr-2003
Full Voting results at 2003 AGM
Company web site, 15-Apr-2003
Partial voting results at 2003 AGM
Company media release, 15-Apr-2003
HKEx should adjourn the AGM
Yesterday HKEx announced 3 new candidates for elections at next Tuesday's AGM, leaving practically no time for institutional shareholders to respond before their custodians close the voting window. Two of the candidates are backed by broker associations, who already have 4 members on the board. We call on the Chairman, if he believes in corporate governance and shareholder equality, to adjourn the AGM for 14 days to allow all shareholders time to submit new voting instructions on the elections. (9-Apr-2003)
Disserving the Public Interest
HKEx, having announced a commitment to co-operate with Government's adoption of the Expert Group's plan to shift its regulatory role to the SFC, is now fighting it. We sat down last Monday with Charles Lee, who said that HKEx was obliged to put the public interest first and co-operate with the Government's proposal. Now he has done a U-turn. Did HKEx make a false and misleading announcement? And what about dictum meum pactum? (31-Mar-2003)
HKEx voting recommendations
The race is on, and we need your help. If you own shares in HKEx, and want a better-run market, then you should elect an HKEx board which for the first time includes investor representatives. Vote for David Webb and Oscar Wong and against the incumbent broker-directors at the AGM. Vote now! We also urge investors to vote against the new issue mandate and support Project Vampire. (28-Mar-2003)
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
Ex-City man's sights on Hong Kong
London Evening Standard, 19-Mar-2003
Webb running for exchange seat
HK Standard, 19-Mar-2003
Webb-site.com announces the candidacy of David Webb for directorship of HKEx, which is holding its first elections after almost 3 years of listing, or listlessness, depending on your view. Under its unique constitution, only 6 out of 13 directors can ever be elected. This may also be the first time a shareholder has nominated a director at the AGM of a HK-listed company. Please support us, and help make a more representative board at HKEx! (17-Mar-2003)
PIPSI Report
The report by the Government-appointed Panel of Inquiry into the recent "Penny Stocks Incident" was released on Tuesday. Webb-site.com looks beyond the blame game and into the recommendations for structural reform of the regulatory system. (15-Sep-2002)
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)
New GEM Exemptions
Over a year after consultation ended, new rules have been announced for HK's second board. The track record requirement is reinstated to two years, but with a glaring exemption for candidates that can meet certain "substantial size" and "significant public following" criteria. So small scams are unacceptable, but big ones are OK, and if you can con 300 people, you don't need a track record. As we explain, this is not going to salvage GEM's tattered reputation, and the process again underlines the need to move listing regulation to the SFC. (30-Jul-2001)
HKEx to Merge with Jockey Club
In another scoop, Webb-site.com has learned of secret plans to merge the HKEx and the Jockey Club, capitalising on the obvious synergies of the casino-like stock market and the broad gambling customer base of the Jockey Club. The move has implications for the MPF as well as the battle against offshore football betting. Read our exclusive story... (1-Apr-2001)
Views on the GEM consultation
This page contains the views of Webb-site.com on the GEM consultation paper. Read them, decide whether you agree, then submit your view to the SEHK using our special form. (26-Jun-2000)
Webb cites dickens of hurry over Tom
South China Morning Post, 23-Feb-2000
Webb on RTHK 3 re the launch of GEM
RTHK, 23-Nov-1999
SEHK hit over data access
HK Standard, 20-Sep-1999
Former investment banker calls for central information warehouse for listed firms.
Terms of Engagement
Terms of engagement have now been agreed between the Hong Kong Stock and Futures Exchanges. In this article, for the first time Webb-site.com shows you what the combined profits and earnings per share of the HKEC have been. This deal is so sweet that almost nobody will accept the partial cash alternative of $3.88 per share. We tell you what the shares are really worth, particularly in the absence of effective tariff controls - you will be amazed! (6-Aug-1999)
Icing on the Cake
In the latest development in the proposed merger of the Hong Kong Stock and Futures Exchanges, it has been suggested that HKEC will underwrite the value of trading rights by offering to buy them back from brokers, in addition to giving them shares in the new company. We explain how future technology will create a surplus of trading rights, and that HKEC will end up buying something that nobody else wants. We argue the case for nationalisation of the exchanges. (26-Jul-1999)
Government Concessions Widen Value Gap
The Hong Kong exchanges are at loggerheads over their merger valuations, with a key sticking point being the value of HKSCC. The Government is responsible for this, having made a U-turn on its earlier position that HKSCC should not be attributed any value. This is one of a series of concessions they have made in an effort to avoid a showdown with small brokers. We take you through the valuation debate and the wider issues discussed in the latest policy paper. (13-Jul-1999)
Serving the Public Interest?
With the negotiations on the proposed merger and flotation of the Stock Exchange and Futures Exchange slowly inching their way forward, we take another look at the inevitable problems that are created by floating a monopoly which on the one hand has a duty to maximise returns to its shareholders while on the other is supposed to serve the public interest. (14-Jun-1999)
Flotation of Exchanges not in the Public Interest
Why the HK Government's proposal to merge the stock and futures exchanges is commendable, but the proposal to float the merged entity is against the public interest. (3-Mar-1999)
Pearl Securities Ltd v SEHK
HK Court of First Instance, 9-Feb-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)
Our letter on the Government's market intervention
This letter was published in the South China Morning Post on 20-Aug-1998. (20-Aug-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.
Choi ticked off for ethics breach
South China Morning Post, 9-Oct-1997
Trial sparks calls for public exchange
South China Morning Post, 3-Jun-1997
Consultation on a proposed new listing status
SEHK, 9-Sep-1991
This document was catalysed by a request from the Jardine Matheson Group to have a trading-only listing in HK after it shifted its Primary Listing to the UK, even though most of the trading volume was expected to remain in HK. Ultimately SEHK did not proceed with the proposal, and the 5 Jardine companies moved their primary listing to the UK. HK became a secondary listing but the group in 1994 delisted from HK.
The Queen v Ronald Li Fook Shiu
HK Court of Appeal, 18-Apr-1991
Attorney General v Ronald Li Fook Shiu
HK Court of Appeal, 6-Mar-1990

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