Monday 28th November, 2005

Dear Reader,

If you care about the right to elect your Government, and if you believe that in any market, including the markets for policymakers and lawmakers, competition tends to produce a more efficient outcome, then get your black T-shirt ready, and march for your rights on Sunday.

Corporate Voting in HK Elections (28-Nov-05)
In our first article leading up to the march for universal suffrage on Sunday, we look at the failure of HK's Government to abolish the small-circle corporate voting system which secures business dominance of the Functional Constituencies and a veto in LegCo. We illustrate it with an investigation of the Transport constituency electorate.

Nam Tai's Bids and Bounty (19-Nov-05)
We look at the attempt by Nam Tai Electronics (NYSE:NTE) to privatise its HK-listed subsidiaries NTEEP (2633) at a 54% discount to the price at which it floated it last year, and J.I.C. Technology (0987). We also look at NTE's offer of a 1% "commission" to brokers who solicit their clients to accept the offer, conditional on the offer succeeding. By permitting this bounty, the SFC has at a stroke removed the possibility of brokers giving untainted independent advice to clients. That is not in the best interests of the market.


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David M Webb