Saturday 2nd January 2016

Dear Reader,

Happy New Year!

HK companies see record closures, slowest growth since 2003
Webb-site reveals that 2015 saw the slowest net growth in HK companies since the recession of 2003 and record levels of dissolution. Market forces may still be alive though, with about half of 2007's companies already closed, despite the Government's increasing intervention. We don't need an Innovation and Technology Bureau, but we do need removal of Government barriers to information and competition - and they could start by removing the paywall on public registries. (2-Jan-2016)

SFC proposal sells HK short
We need your help! Support our submission to the SFC against draconian short-selling restrictions and reporting requirements in HK. Under 1 Country 2 Systems, there is no reason to follow China's demonisation of short-selling or to affirm that bias with a dragnet approach to reporting of short positions at 0.02% when long buyers only have to disclose at 5%. (28-Dec-2015)

Another HK worker at anti-Beijing bookshop 'disappears'
BBC, 1-Jan-2016

King Arthur's midnight coronation as Chairman of HKU Council
HK Government, 31-Dec-2015
The Government announcement was posted at 00:32 (or 00:30 in Chinese). In a world-class city, councils of universities would elect their own chair.

China Optoelectronics (1332) does money-lending JV with Freeman (0279)
Company announcement, 30-Dec-2015
As the HK$300m joint venture will be 50:50, it will not be a subsidiary of either company, and therefore any loans it makes will be beyond the scope of the connected transaction rules. Another deal in what we call the "Chung Nam Network".

Hanergy (0566) stake sale implies US$20bn in value wiped out
Bloomberg, 29-Dec-2015
Well that's a good end to the year. See our bubble warning of 31-Dec-2014. As the stock has been frozen for so long, perhaps they should rename it "Hanergy Thin Ice".

China Animal Healthcare (0940): 4 years of accounts stolen during forensic investigation
Company announcement, 28-Dec-2015
A company truck containing the documents was stolen. Apparently the thieves abandoned the truck, which was found 8 days later, but kept the documents. How unfortunate that of all the companies whose documents they could have stolen, they stole one that was about to start a forensic investigation of its accounts. This wins our "the dog ate my homework" award.

Real Nutriceutical (2010): clarification announcement
Company announcement, 24-Dec-2015
Well they wouldn't call it "Fake Nutriceutical", would they? At 3 minutes before the news system closed at 11pm on Christmas Eve (long after the market closed at noon), this announcement was filed in answer to criticisms from a short seller.

Chinese Estates (0127) to sell Windsor House to controlling shareholder Joseph Lau
Company announcement, 23-Dec-2015
By buying the BVI company which indirectly owns the property, they avoid the 8.5% stamp duty which would have cost HK$918m on the $10.8bn property. Incidentally, the Windsor House company owns a nominee membership of The Hong Kong Golf Club valued at HK$12.6m.

And much more besides...
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