Monday 8th October 2012

Dear Reader,

Xpress excess
Here's a horror story of excessive pay at Xpress Group (0185), a company you've probably never heard of, but pay attention, because it could just as easily happen to yours, as the Listing Rules do not prevent it. In the last 15 years, the controlling family have received HK$493m in pay as directors, while the loss attributable to shareholders was $248m. (8-Oct-2012)

HK land for HK xenophobes
We explain why the proposed "HK land for HK people" scheme, while superficially appealing to voters, won't work, and we again propose measures to make the housing and tax system simpler and fairer, including elimination of stamp duty and mortgage interest deductions, and land lease reform to open the market and lower the premiums on new leases. (6-Sep-2012)

Webb-site Total Returns launched
Our new system allows investors, journalists and academics to know what the total return on investment in any HK-listed stock has been in the last 18 years, and to produce comparisons and rankings over any period. Say goodbye to bare price charts, where the dividends and other distributions belong to the fairies. We demonstrate with a review of 15-year returns in the HKSAR. (6-Aug-2012)

SEHK clings to "suitability" test
SEHK, 28-Sep-2012
"Where a company's business model is believed [by the Exchange] to be unsustainable, the Exchange will consider it unsuitable for listing". Our view: surely the desirability of an investment is for the market to decide. Given full disclosure, nobody has to buy the shares if they don't want to. SEHK can't quite drag itself away from the merit-based approach to listing approvals, despite its claim to be a disclosure-based market. Should the hundreds of listed loss-making companies be delisted just because they don't look sustainable?

Webb on "Backchat" re poverty line
RTHK, 28-Sep-2012

PECS Register monthly update Part 1.Part 2
HK Government, 28-Sep-2012

Eagle Nice (2368): Chairman was arrested by ICAC and later released unconditionally from bail
Company announcement, 26-Sep-2012
Comment: in our view, once the ICAC had discharged the Chairman from bail on 18-May-2012, the stock should have been allowed to resume trading. Investors have been deprived of a market for their shares for over 4 months since then. By contrast, the stock of Sun Hung Kai Properties has remained traded throughout the period of the Kwok brothers' arrest and subsequent charges.

Sino Prosper (0766): investors remove Chairman/CEO & ED at AGM, board immediately reappoints them
Company announcement, 24-Sep-2012
Investors also vetoed the general issue mandate, preventing the board from diluting them.

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