Thursday 29th September 2011

Dear Reader,

Another lost day of productivity in HK as everything shuts down for a passing gale. Hong Kong's weather-related shutdown system harks back to a time when most of its buildings were made of wood rather than reinforced concrete, and nobody could get from the island to Kowloon without taking a ferry. It is high time we raised the thresholds so that we don't shut down the city unless conditions are much worse (expected sustained winds of 63 km/h are currently enough). Today is this year's first stoppage, but in other years we've lost as many as 3 days to typhoon or "Black rainstorm" warnings. If more windswept parts of the UK adopted HK's standards, they'd be working 3-day weeks on a regular basis.


BoCom's bonus-share tax hit
BoCom (3328) found a nasty wrinkle in China's taxes that resulted in an effective 60% tax rate on its final dividend, because of a tax on bonus shares. Webb-site calls on the Chinese Government to clarify its tax treatment of bonus issues so that there will be no withholding tax, because they are not a distribution of value. Further, it would be better and fairer to abolish the distortive dividend withholding tax and raise corporate tax rates instead. (29-Sep-2011)

New Webb-site database feature
Check out our new league table of SFC licensees per firm. (27-Sep-2011)

Pass it on!
This free newsletter goes to over 20,000 practitioners, issuers, regulators and investors in Hong Kong's markets. If you enjoy Webb-site, then please invite a friend to find out what they are missing and subscribe! Visit our archives, and do your homework before you invest.

Remember that, apart from our occasional articles, you can follow our daily updates on HK events via RSS, Twitter, or Facebook.

Copyright notice
This e-mail and small extracts of any article on the site may be freely quoted in any other publication but ONLY if attribution is given to