Friday 12th October 2012

Dear Reader,

Help the needy, not the needless
We price the proposed Old Age Living Allowance if means-testing is scrapped to make it a universal pension, and what it would mean for tax rates down the road to a welfare state. We show you the increasingly educated and affluent profile of future retirees, and call on Government to refocus on a better, properly means-tested and rebranded elderly CSSA system. We also look at the $2 fare scheme, another scattergun attempt at welfare. (12-Oct-2012)

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)

Five face HK$100m bribery charge over acquisition of plantation project
ICAC, 11-Oct-2012
Interesting that Choy Ping Fai is now described as former President of CERG; the annual reports never disclosed his role.

Uni-Bio (0690): Michael Liang Hui Min was acquitted
Company announcement, 10-Oct-2012

Quest for Harvard entry ends in US$2m tangle
Boston Globe, 9-Oct-2012

HKEx's new "Chief Regulatory Officer"
Company media release, 8-Oct-2012
Comment: the Head of Listing is a key regulatory role and should be a full-time job. We don't see how one person can be both Head of Listing and also carry responsbility for the regulatory, legal and compliance functions of all the other businesses in HKEx, including the HKFE futures exchange, 3 clearing houses (options, futures, stocks) and soon, an overseas commodity exchange. Some clarity is needed.

MGM Grand Paradise Ltd v Mr Chiu Tak Wah
HK Court of First Instance, 8-Oct-2012
Regarding a gambling debt of HK$9,301,500 due by a director of Richful International Investment Ltd.

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