Monday 7th March 2011

Dear Reader,

Thanks if you participated in our poll on independent directors - the final results are here and we will submit them to HKEx. And now for something completely different...

Party finances in HK
Which is the wealthiest political party in HK? The answer may surprise you. We publish the accounts of the four main parties for their last two financial years, which go some way towards explaining the hand-to-mouth existence of several of the parties, and the lack of any coherent policy platforms in the pro-democracy camp. This is largely a result of the electoral voting system which divides and conquers them, countered by the secretive funding of the biggest-spending party. (7-Mar-2011)

Now withdraw the SSD proposal
Latest disclosures show that the increase in short-term resales from 2009 to 2010 was only 1.9% of transactions, and fewer than 1 in 5 are in that category. Having abandoned one unpopular budget measure this week already, the Government should now do the right thing and abandon the Special Stamp Duty proposal. It is illegitimate, unconstitutional, creates too many unintended victims and runs the risk of chaos upon a successful judicial review. (2-Mar-2011)

Reforming Salaries Tax
The budget was devoid of any structural reform to public finances. In our first article in a series, Webb-site fills the void with a proposal to reform Salaries Tax to make it a simpler, fairer and flat tax. (24-Feb-2011)

C Y Foundation chairman faces court for alleged fraud. Circular dated 30-Oct-2007
ICAC, 4-Mar-2011
We note that the acquisition circular doesn't even state where the vendor, Beauford Limited, was incorporated, let alone who owned it. Just a bald claim of independence. Another example of why HKEx must change the Listing Rules to require disclosure of counterparty ownership in transactions with listed companies.

Felice Lieh-Mak reappointed to Medical Council
HK Gazette, 4-Mar-2011
This extends her term as a Government-appointed member of the Council by 3 years to a total of 12 years. She has been Chairman for the last 6. Isn't it time to give someone else a go, under the 6-year rule?

Ex-Quam Securities director charged with $600k sub-underwriting commissions fraud
ICAC, 3-Mar-2011

High Court varies order against ex-GOME chairman's wife
SFC, 3-Mar-2011

Wing Fai Construction Co Ltd v Robert Yip Kwong & others
HK Court of Appeal, 3-Mar-2011

Kwok Chin Wing v 21 Holdings Ltd (1003) & Chan Sheung Wai
HK Court of First Instance, 2-Mar-2011

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