Wednesday 22nd October 2008

Dear Reader,

For those of you who have been nagging me for ages, I'm pleased to announce that we now have an RSS feed - the button is on the top-right corner of the home page. If you don't know what an RSS feed is, then don't worry - it stands for Really Sedentary Subscriber. You will still need to register an e-mail address to receive a PIN for opinion polls. Your PIN is above. Don't forget to vote in our Retail Financial Products poll.

Now onto the scandal du jour...

CITIC Pacific woes continue
We look further into the scandal enveloping CITIC Pacific, including a possibly false and misleading statement for which the Company and directors could be prosecuted, and also at the grant of an enormous share option over existing shares by PRC Government-owned CITIC HK to Mr Yung, which appears to have been prematurely cancelled in Jul-08. (22-Oct-2008)

CITIC Pacific's time bomb
Why did CITIC Pacific's board wait 6 weeks before telling investors that it had a huge exposure to exotic foreign exchange forward contracts? What does this say about the quality of its board, and the independent directors on its audit committee who, according to a separate statement by the Chairman, found time to complete an investigation of the incident even before the incident was announced? (20-Oct-2008)

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)

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David M Webb